Follows Jeeves Into Exile

    March 4, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

The search engine will be repurposed into something resembling its earliest days as a place to ask questions.

For those of us who remember the first incarnation of Ask Jeeves and its question and answer model, the memories evoke mostly head shaking and the occasional chuckle depending on how the dapper Jeeves answered what we asked.

But now it appears all of the nifty technology accomplishments Ask made to its search product, not to mention a pricey and sometimes odd ad campaign to boost awareness of its capabilities, couldn’t overcome the inertia of an Internet browsing public too accustomed to using Google for the majority of their searches.

The Wall Street Journal said Ask will drop about 40 jobs as it moves back to answering questions rather than vying for keyword search traffic.

Layoff rumors swirled for the past several weeks about Ask, as the company’s parent firm, IAC, conducted a bitter battle with Liberty Media over its future. IAC topper Barry Diller wants Ask to be its big name brand if Diller can breakup IAC into several companies.

One person well-known to WebProNews readers will not be part of whatever Ask becomes. Gary Price, former director of information services at Ask, disclosed on Resource Shelf his role ended after almost exactly two years with the search engine.

“Sad news? Sure it is, but it has been a great experience and I