Ask Provides Sitelinks in SERPs Too

    April 27, 2009
    Chris Crum

Ask is expanding its Ask Domain Nav product, which has been rolling out in phases since the end of last year, when it began beta testing the domain navigation product.

It’s very similar to what Google has been doing, and has incidentally also expanded upon recently. Last week, Google announced it was adding sitelinks for more search results. Here are screenshots of both Ask’s and Google’s versions:

Ask's Version of Sitelinks


Google Sitelinks

"This is an interesting (and important) product for many reasons beyond just getting the user one-click closer to their desired destination," says Ask’s Senior Software Engineer Ben Kao of the search engine’s domain nav product. "Navigational links lend themselves to terse descriptions and are easily grasped by users when displayed in a tabular format. Furthermore they are filtered down to the most popular or most useful links on a particular site. This is very handy for cluttered sites that are difficult to navigate."

"From the search engine’s point of view, it is an opportunity to display a dense yet highly readable block of links which are closely related to the top result," continues Kao. "The navigational block typically occupies one result slot. Now, in the space of two result slots which previously showed two links, we can now show as many as nine links. This greatly increases the probability of satisfying the user and speeding up the distance between the searcher and the right Answer."

This appears to be a reminder from Ask that it hasn’t given up on improving its search results, despite its much lower market share than the likes of Google, and even Yahoo and Microsoft. Though Ask did lose less share on a year-to-year basis than either of those two according to Hitwise data from last month.

Last week Ask announced he return of famed butler mascot Jeeves to the UK version of the site. I think this is a smart move on Ask’s part, particularly if they decide to bring him back on a global scale, because even though he has been gone since 2006, he is still the best brand the company has.