Ask Gets More Serious About Answers

    June 17, 2009
    Chris Crum has released a database of 300 million Q&A pairs available to users in the US and the UK.

"Delivering the best answers though innovations in semantic search technology is the direction in which the search industry is headed, and Ask is best-placed to lead the industry in this regard given our database of hundreds of millions of questions, and our core search technologies," said Scott Kim,’s EVP of Technology. 

"With countless answers on the web, consumers face challenges in getting the answer they’re looking for due to varied formats, redundancies, and junk answers. The Ask Q&A channel aims to cut through the clutter – and with today’s advancement, we’re well on our way," he added.

Last fall, Ask launched its own core search technology, and it has achieved the 300 million Q&A pairs through crawling and indexing questions and answers from "numerous and diversified sources" across the web. From there, Ask says it applied its semantic search technology advancements in clustering, rephrasing, and answer relevance to filter out insignificant and less meaningful answer formats.

"The result is a Q&A database that is fine-tuned to give consumers the best answer, the first time, every time through streamlined, localized, concise results to their questions," explains Ask. "For example, the question ‘How do I train my dog?’ yields in-depth answers with step-by-step instructions from a series of diverse and authoritative sources across the web – giving searchers a selection of options and resources they can use to take action."

Ask Results for Dog Training

It should be noted that Ask’s Q&A results are also blended into its regular search results. The database can be searched specifically by using the "lots of answers" link on Ask’s homepage. is used three times more than any other search engine for search queries that are in the form of a question, according to research from comScore. Ask says its own research indicates that user frequency, retention, and loyalty are significantly higher within the Q&A channel specifically.