Ask Unveils Rebuilt Site

    October 6, 2008

Ask’s share of the search market is lacking, to say the least; deficiencies in both the tech and PR departments have long kept it fundamentally distinct from Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.  But an overhaul and ad campaign seek to fix all that.

A welcome page describing the new Ask claims that it now offers the "Best Results Ever."  Examples are given in the form of complete questions, which seems to indicate that Ask’s trying its hand at semantic search.  Ask’s site has supposedly been made faster, too, so it’s not aiming to make a tradeoff between accuracy and time.

Jim Safka
 Jim Safka

"We have rebuilt the Ask site from the ground up," confirmed Jim Safka, Ask’s CEO, in an interview with Miguel Helft.

A few quick rounds of testing didn’t reveal any problems with functionality.  Only Ask’s ad placement – four of the things before the results – remains iffy.

As for the PR front, there looked to be possible problems with obscurity and offensiveness; a Guardian headline reads, "Little Britain’s Fat Pat stars in ad campaign."  The first commercial is rather cute and sweet, though, while also serving to illustrate how useful search engines can be in daily life.

Even if it can’t topple Google, Ask should see at least a small bump in market share due to these developments.