Ask.com Raises White Flag In Search Fight

Ask shifts focus to Q&A

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A Web pioneer of sorts is retiring from one of the industry’s most visible fights. Today, the president of Ask.com announced that Ask will dedicate all its resources to improving its Q&A service, and as a result, will no longer attempt to compete in terms of Web search.

From certain angles, this move makes quite a lot of sense. According to the latest comScore search report, Ask had a market share of 3.7 percent in September, while Google had a market share of 66.1 percent and even Bing had a share of 11.2 percent (which is 303 percent of 3.7). It’s hard to imagine much could have changed anytime soon.

So now Ask will allow a not-yet-disclosed competitor to power its search service, save a good deal of money on research costs, and probably collect more than a fistful of dollars in return.

nullMeanwhile, Doug Leeds, President of Ask, promised in a blog post, “[O]ur proprietary Answer Products will continue to be a key point of differentiation for us in the Q&A space. We will continue to make the technology investments necessary across all of these fronts to develop the very best Q&A experience on the Web.”

The unfortunate thing is that quite a few layoffs will occur due to these changes. A Bloomberg report indicated that 130 individuals will lose their jobs, and Leeds, while not getting into the specifics, admitted that offices in New Jersey and China will shut down.

Ask.com Raises White Flag In Search Fight
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