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Ask Gets More Serious About Answers
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Ask.com has released a database of 300 million Q&A pairs available to users in the US and the UK.

"Delivering the best answers though innovations in semantic search technology is the direction in which the search industry is headed, and Ask is best-placed to lead the industry in this regard given our database of hundreds of millions of questions, and our core search technologies," said Scott Kim, Ask.com’s EVP of Technology. 

Ask CEO Steps Downs After One and a Half Years
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Ask CEO Jim Safka has suddenly decided to step down from his role with the company. He has only been there since January 2008.

In a letter to the Ask staff, Safka said:

Ask Provides Sitelinks in SERPs Too

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 Brings Back Jeeves
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The search engine formerly known as Ask Jeeves, which has more recently gone by Ask.com has decided to bring the beloved butler back, at least in the UK (though his look is slightly updated). The company says that it knows from research that customers "love Jeeves and strongly associate him with providing answers. "

If you ask Jeeeves why he’s back, he’ll tell you:

FAQ Pages Could Boost Your Google Rankings
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In a recent report, Hitwise said that the length of search queries has increased over the past year. Longer search queries, averaging searches of 5+ words in length, have increased 10% from January ’08 to January ’09 they noted.

Ask has an interesting blog post up interpreting this data, and the gist of it is summed up with this paragraph from it:

Top Three Search Engines Tread Water In February
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Don’t look for any fireworks displays over Mountain View tonight.  Hitwise’s latest report on the search market is in, and between January and February, Google’s share grew by just 0.02 percent.  Yahoo and Microsoft made similarly yawn-worthy movements on a month-to-month basis.

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Ask Revs Up Search For NASCAR

Ask.com has partnered with NASCAR and Hall of Fame of Racing to become the official search engine for the sport.

"As part of our strategy to go deeper into the highest-volume categories and provide the best answer, the first time, every time, we want to be the first place fans search online for NASCAR information," said Ask.com Chief Executive Officer Jim Safka.

Ask Shows Off Its Advanced Semantic Search
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Remember Ask? You know, the search engine with the Butler. While the company doesn’t get brought up in the discussion as much as it once did, it has not surrendered to Google and it’s other competitors just yet.

Ask has now announced some advances in its semantic search technology. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of Semantic Search, Wikipedia explains it:

Liberty Media Unloading IAC Shares At Rapid Pace
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Liberty Media – and/or its chairman, John Malone – may not have a lot of faith left in Ask.com and other IAC properties.  It seems that Liberty Media has selling the company’s stock left and right, unloading 193,100 shares in the last week alone.

Google Increases Internet Search Share
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Google continues to dominate the U.S. search market share and in October it accounted for 63.1 percent of all searches, up from 58.5 percent in the previous year and up slightly from 62.9 percent in September according to comScore.

Yahoo landed the second spot with 20.5 percent, a decrease from 22.9 percent a year ago but up from 20.2 percent in September.

Microsoft ranked third with 8.5 percent in October, the same percentage it had in September but down from 9.7 percent from October 2007.

Scattered IAC Financial Results Earn Applause

Ask may have lost the interest of a lot of people in the search industry, but its parent company, IAC, is still catching investors’ eyes.  IAC’s third quarter results – the first it’s published since spinning off some businesses – represent a curious mixture of ups and downs.

Ask Unveils Rebuilt Site
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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.

Google Grabs 1 Billion Searches In India
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Google sites received the majority of searches conducted in India according to a study of the online search market from comScore.

Google sites in India had more than 1 billion searches conducted in June, representing 81 percent of the market. Yahoo sites ranked a distant second with 117 million searches accounting for 9.4 percent. Ask Network landed in the third spot with 24 million searches representing 1.9 percent of the market.

Brits Ask For Tats, Cake, and God
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I think we’re past trying to extrapolate too much meaning from top search term lists—it just gets depressing. During 2007′s cyclical year-end keyword clearance, even the engines themselves resorted to "gainer" and category lists, editing out the repetitive (and somewhat base) who’s-who of porn and pop culture—yeah, we get it, the people can’t get enough of sex and rich, pretty idiots. What else are they looking for?

Destination Nowhere: Ask Give Microsoft Map Business
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Ask.com’s mapping service, a feature laden map option that provided a host of tools, received an unceremonious dumping in favor of Microsoft and its Virtual Earth.

Ask Privacy Link
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Ask.com has announced. that it has added a direct link to its privacy policy via a "Privacy" link conveniently placed on its homepage, thus, easing the growing concerns of the privacy watchdogs.

Google Kills Rivals In Search For April
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Google increased its U.S. dominance in search in April, extending its lead over rivals Yahoo and Microsoft, according to comScore.

Google’s search properties grabbed a record-high 61.6 percent of the U.S. market in April, up from 59.8 percent in March.

Out of the top five search engines, Google was the only company, that saw an increase in the number of searches in April. Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL and Ask all had a decrease of 5 percent or more.

Ask.com Search Engine – A Brief History
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As of this writing, there are five top Internet search engines: Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, and Ask.com, and while Google and Yahoo! get a lot of the press (particularly lately), the Ask.com search engine is a rather interesting engine that deserves a closer look. This article will cover some of the highlights in its 12-year history, from its start as Ask Jeeves to its innovations, as well as the most recent developments behind the scenes.

The Beginning

Search Engines Shaky In February

February’s over, and according to new comScore statistics, almost all of the major search engines should be glad to put it in the past.  Microsoft and Yahoo both saw a shrink in market share, and Google’s query growth was less impressive than it’s been in previous periods.

No Stopping Google’s Domination

So Jason is predicting that “Google will have 90% search market share in the US one year from now“, and while people may cringe at that thought, I don’t think it’s a completely unlikely scenario.

Ask.com Follows Jeeves Into Exile
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The search engine Ask.com will be repurposed into something resembling its earliest days as a place to ask questions.