Ask Jeeves Offers Katrina Smart Answer Section

    September 8, 2005

As it’s been mentioned here many times since Hurricane Katrina struck last week, the search engine industry has been most supportive of the relief efforts related to the natural disaster.

Because major components of the Katrina relief effort involves sorting through mountains of information that comes out, most of the search engines have launched a link or feature that tries to consolidate all of the news related to Hurricane Katrina. However, a consolidation of the many resources designed to help hurricane victims seems to be lacking. Apparently acting with this in mind, Ask Jeeves just launched the Hurricane Katrina Smart Answer unit and it appears to have addressed the situation admirably.

For a thorough write-up about what Smart Answers are and what they do, please read the Ask Jeeves blog entry devoted to the topic.

The Ask Jeeves Hurricane Katrina Smart Answer unit resides at the top of SERPs that come from queries related to the hurricane. When the link is clicked, users are taken to a resource page featuring lists of charitable organizations, health and safety matters, and a section for local resources and information. The last section also includes the numbers to call for shelter information and hurricane-related unemployment insurance matters.

As pointed out by Gary Price at the Search Engine Watch blog, Ask Jeeves and AOL Search are the only two search entities to offer such resources. Most of the other engines offer links to Hurricane Katrina-related news and the Red Cross donation page, not that these features aren’t needed, but the extra effort made by Ask and AOL is certainly appreciated.

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.