Over the past weeks, a lot has been brewing at Ask.com. Rumours and speculations have been doing the rounds for sometime now. However, the most lingering doubts were regarding Ask opting for Google powered results in its search results. But we wanted to know the trust, the real thing, so we went ahead and had a conference call with Ask.com spokesman and VP, Nicholas Graham.
This is what he had to say about the bouncing rumours:
Navneet: To start with, can you tell me something about the reports of Ask becoming oriented towards women?
Nicholas Graham: Well, that is wrong, it was a rumour that was started by a report on AP. There is no such thing as going women oriented. We have a very loyal user base, who do their search in specific category. So we will be focusing more on our core audience. So our search technologies would be built based on their needs. Our users would be able to connect in a better way to us then.
Navneet: Now coming to the news statement that you have made….your statement seems to be somewhat conflicting, you said Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“We recognize that we canĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t be all things to all people.Ă˘â‚¬Âť You see not being all things to all people sounds exactly like you are abandoning other users in pursuit of optimizing for the US women target group, but according to Forbes you wonĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t. What do you have to say about this?
Nicholas Graham: All I have to say is that we would be more focused from now on. We have found that some users come back to us for some reason. So now we aim to give better results in the specific categories that they search in.
Navneet: And in all that, the question remains why people looking for recipes, entertainment and health should not just stick with Yahoo or Google, where they get a much better results scope and quality Ă˘â‚¬â€ś Ask.comĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“natural language searching for direct answersĂ˘â‚¬Âť argument was always a marketing spin, as you are not really ahead of competition in this regard.
Nicholas Graham: It is not about competition, instead our focus has always been to keep building and innovating for a better platform.
Navneet: What do you have to say about the way the online community reacted to the rumour?
Nicholas Graham: People read an erroneous headline and now they are trying to build a logical story out of it. They drew their conclusions too quickly, but we are now working to tell the entire story and paint a broader sphere.
Navneet: Do you have any plans to replace Ask.com's organic search results with Google's organic results?
Nicholas Graham: No, we won't be pulling the plug on Teoma. Instead it is going to be be used for new strategy Ask.com is working on.
Navneet: How exactly do you plan to implement the new search strategy?
Nicholas Graham: All I can say now is that if you like ask, you will like it more as we will be coming up with exciting technologies and stuff.
Ask.com spokesman and VP, Nicholas Graham has keenly been watching all the speculations and has devotedly tried to show the rumours a better light. However, things like Ask search engine expert Gary Price, leaving the company and laying off 8% staff is a clear sign that shows there indeed is some truth in all those rumours.