Ask Drives RSS Smart Answers To Europe

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As part of their drive to rollout new features beyond the United States as quickly as possible, Ask.com has placed RSS Smart Answers on its European sites.

The Ask.com folks aren’t signing their blog posts now, so we will have to attribute the latest missive to team unity, perhaps? Since Gary Price and Ryan Massie had hands in the launch of the feature, they could be the ones writing here too.

As we noted in July, a typical search result on a website’s name usually returns links and short text summaries from those sites.

Since RSS distribution has become so widely used among news sites and blogs, the new feature looks well-suited to match the increase in RSS usage.

Ask.com rolled out the RSS Smart Answers service, on the company’s German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch websites.

Performing a search for a particular blog or news site on Ask.com would trigger the new feature:

The new RSS Smart Answers make popular UK, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch blogs accessible on the main Web search channel. From now on, you can expect to see the three latest posts of many of your favorite blogs and RSS feeds at the top of search results pages.

New items appear almost instantly in the Smart Answer after the author publishes an article. Of course, you’ll also find a direct link to the blog to see the entire post.

Here are some examples of popular blog searches on our European sites:

Germany: Shopblogger, Ehrensenf
UK: The Register, Slashdot
Spain: Barrapunto, Microsiervos
France: C’est moi qui l’ai fait! Pointblog
Italy: Beppe Grillo, Macchianera
Netherlands: Geenstijl, Bieslog

In the US, examples of that can be seen in Ask searches for blogs like BoingBoing and TechCrunch, and news sites like Digg.

It is surprising to see that Ask hasn’t made the option to subscribe to a feed appearing in the RSS Smart Answer (especially with Bloglines) available.

Ask.com collected the most popular blogs and sites as subscribed to through the company’s Bloglines feed reader service.

Those selected span a range from funny to serious and cover topics like politics, technology, and entertainment.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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