Ask Jeeves Can’t Match Google’s Pace

    February 4, 2005

I’m guessing that the execs at Ask Jeeves wish they had announced their Q4 numbers before Google and not after.

After Google reported a sevenfold increase in profits, Wall Street was looking for Ask to provide a similar performance, they were disappointed.

Revenue nearly tripled to $86.1 million from $31.8 million and the company had net income from continuing operations of $17.1 million, or 25 cents per share, compared with its year-earlier net income from continuing operations of $7.6 million, or 13 cents.

For 2005, the company sees revenues of $380 million to $395 million and earnings, excluding items, of $1.30 to $1.45 per share, roughly in line with analysts’ current estimates.

The problem is, “in line with analysts’ current estimates” just doesn’t cut it when Google blows estimates away. Ask is going to face a tough 2005 unless it can finally find a way to break away from the image it currently has. What image is that? Read any report on the search engines and you’ll see something like this…

…the top search engines, Google, Yahoo and MSN. Other search engines challenging include Ask Jeeves, AOL….

Get the picture? Ask is almost in that top flight of search engines, but they often only get a passing mention in reports on search.

My advice…for what it is worth…build some kind of paid search model and stop using Google. Instead of sharing the wealth with them, keep it all yourself and while you are at it, build your own network of partners to rival AdSense.

Andy Beal is an internet marketing consultant and considered one of the world’s most respected and interactive search engine marketing experts. Andy has worked with many Fortune 1000 companies such as Motorola, CitiFinancial, Lowes, Alaska Air, DeWALT, NBC and Experian.

You can read his internet marketing blog at Marketing Pilgrim and reach him at