Oct 7, 2008 114 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Ask.com has released version 11 of their new search engine today.

Techmeme is geared up with all the coverage of the news item, along with the main articles currently from the NY Times and News.com.

“We have rebuilt the Ask site from the ground up,” said Mr. Safka, who was earlier the chief executive of Match.com.

“In its latest iteration, Ask.com will deliver results not only from the Web, but also from so-called “structured” sources of data in certain categories like entertainment, health and jobs. The results are intended to deliver faster answers to certain queries,” Mr. Safka said. For instance, a search for “Miley Cyrus” will include TV listings for the series “Hannah Montana” in which she stars.

“The new Ask.com also includes an index of various question-and-answer sites from around the Web, including Yahoo Answers and WikiAnswers, that proves effective at returning results for some queries posed as questions. “Some of the best content is coming from individuals, not necessarily from professional publishers,” Mr. Safka said.

Ask.com president Scott Garrell confirmed that this is the premise that Ask was founded on in 1996 when it was Ask Jeeves, but at that time the answers were hand-crafted. Now they have come up with the creation of by the engine.

"The strategy from a product perspective is to provide the best answer the first time, everytime,"
Garrell said. "We want to reduce the distance between your query and the answer you want."

If Ask.com can consistently provide direct answers in its search results page, Garrell believes it will grow its user base. It generally takes people 3 to 4 clicks in any search engine to get the desired information, he said.

Behind the scenes, Ask.com's makeover includes an improved ability to extract data from Web pages; to mix in a wider variety of result types like photos, news, images and videos; and to tap a broader pool of data sources for queries about entertainment, jobs, health and reference information.

With this upgrade Ask.com, owned by IAC, is also aiming to recapture the functionality that gave it its prominence during its heyday: the ability for people to type in queries in natural language. Ask.com is bringing this functionality back via a question-and-answer feature that uses semantic search technology to interpret the questions and return relevant answers found on the Web, Garrell said.

I just want to comment that I was expecting this to come. But I personally don't think that Ask.com is in race with Google, Yahoo or Microsoft or even near to them. But it is really amazing to know that it is bringing back the Jeeves approach, again! Hope it works this time!

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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