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Diggers believed Ask.com’s advertising was promoting Google

I laughed out loud the first time I saw an Ask.com’s algorithim poster in a bus shelter here in New York.  I knew it would make no sense to just about everyone…although I admit, since I’ve written about it a few times now, I did check it out once since.

Talk about an ad campaign backfiring double-bad.

Barry Schwartz @ Search Engine Roundtable:

Yesterday, I wrote how Is Ask.com’s “The Algorithm” Campaign Really Working? I then submitting it to Digg, and it later became “popular”. My goal was to see if Digg users were also confused by the campaign, as confused as my brother-in-law and as confused as some of the search marketers at Cre8asite Forums.

Percentage of Digg Users Thought “The Algorithm” campaign was from:

June 14, 2007 Posted by | Ask.com, Digg, Google | Leave a comment

Ask.com gets 20% more satisfaction overnight

They killed the algorithm, but according to Emre Sokullu, Ask.com has improved their user experience for 20% of their users.

Thankfully, this conclusion is not the result of a Ask.com user poll. Rather, Ask.com now returns more search results higher up on the page for the eyes to see. See their wonderful heatmap analysis of the search results.

As the query approaches the head of the tail, Google and Ask return the same amount of results. But most of the time, while Ask returns 6, Google has 5. Consequently, the user satisfaction is approximately 20% higher.

Heatmap Ask.com

As a side note unrelated to Emre’s analysis, one problem I have with polls targeted to existing users of a particular website is that the questions are being asked of the already converted userbase. Many people are inclined to see any change as a step-forward for the betterment of the site, regardless of what it is. Devotees to a particular website like to think that they are on the cutting edge of information or entertainment and for that reason, they will evangelize just like many religious individuals feel the need to spread the message of their religion. Just an observation…

June 12, 2007 Posted by | Ask.com | Leave a comment

“The Algorithm should find a new ad Agency”

What is Ask.com doing?.

June 6, 2007 Posted by | Ask.com | Leave a comment

Ask.com killed Jeeves. Are they killing themselves?

“The Algorithm Killed Jeeves” says just about every other bus shelter here in New York City these days.

Oh, did it now? Jeeves died? I sure hope he isn’t taking Ask.com with him.
How is a Google clone that doesn’t even seem to have improved upon on Google search results going to take over this space?

Allen Stern at CenterNetworks:

AskAsk.com has made the decision to go “all in”. All in is a term used when an opponent puts everything they have on the table in an attempt to take their share plus their opponents share. Ask wants to become the leader in search.

I agree with a lot of what Duncan wrote about earlier this month as it relates to Ask. His last point is, “If a tree falls down in the woods and no one is around to hear it- does it make a sound can be equally applied to Ask: if a search engine does a viral marketing campaign and no one understands it, does it make a difference?” It’s also very important to remember that people hate change. Imagine for a minute that a new mp3 device came on the market and it was freakin awesome – it did everything the iPod does plus 100 more great features. Would people drop their iPods and run out and get the new xyz? Yes, some will, but not most. Same case here even with no cost for changing.

Does it really matter if Google’s results are good or not? Think about it. Let’s assume Ask has better results. Will your local news personality say, “Ask it” instead of “Google it” if Ask actually did provide better search results? Will Rachel on Friends no longer say Google that?

The real question is what does it take to be able to knock off the leader. Google has reached the mountain top as their name is equal to the Internet for most people just as AOL held that position in the early 90s. Ask has launched a site called “Information Revolution” to help them get the word out in an “underground” style. Danny Sullivan has a very indepth review of the campaign.

May 23, 2007 Posted by | Ask.com | Leave a comment

Ask.com prepares to dominate Google’s Adwords…

…or at the very least, they are launching their own contextual ad network.  And it actually sounds pretty slick.  And I am going to give it a shot myself and report back on results in a future post.  And congrats to Ask.com for at least trying and at launching something.  As I’ve stated before, the more competition in this space, the better things get for small businesses.

Straight from the horses mouth:

“It’s no longer a rumor and definitely not a beta launch. Today’s announcement of the Ask Sponsored Listings contextual product is the real deal. First came Ask Sponsored Listings (ASL) 1.0 in August, 2005. Next came ASL 2.0 in October, 2006. Now comes the next innovative product offering with the Ask Sponsored Listings contextual product launching in less than four weeks.

How is this product different from our competitors, you ask? Three important reasons, each one a paradigm shift:

* It gives publishers more control over yield and relevancy
* It gives publishers more creative ad unit opportunities
* It allows both advertisers and publishers more control over where and what ads are displayed

We’ll be working with publishers to customize their implementations with some of the following options:

* New customized relevancy thresholds for publishers
* Innovative yield management thresholds that allow publishers to optimize their monetization efforts

You won’t find the standard white background with text ads. Our hybrid text + graphical contextual units will offer a fresh new look to performance based contextual advertising.

All the power to them.

April 27, 2007 Posted by | Ask.com, Google | Leave a comment

PC World asks: Does Google deserve all that traffic, or is it living off its reputation?

The verdict: Yes, Google is still the best, but has competition chomping at its heels

PC World:

Does Google deserve all that traffic, or is it living off its reputation? Are people using it because they’re not aware of other, potentially better search engines? To find out, we pitted Google against its big-name competitors, Yahoo and Microsoft Live Search, as well as against smaller challengers such as AlltheWeb, AltaVista, and Ask.com–plus a couple dozen of the specialty search services, including Blogdigger, Picsearch, and TubeSurf.

Our verdict? Google is indeed the best search engine, even though two other services topped it–barely–in our text-search tests. Google’s index proved to be the most accurate, comprehensive, and timely of the bunch. It also bested the majority of the specialty-search sites we tried, meaning those that focus on a category or file type, such as videos, images, news, blogs, or local info delivered on a mobile phone.

April 25, 2007 Posted by | AlltheWeb, Altavista, Ask.com, Blogdigger, Google, Microsoft, Picsearch, TubeSurf | Leave a comment

Ask.com makes up 10% of Google search ad syndication?

I guess some people really do use Barry Diller’s web toy. I am not one of those people but if Ask.com makes up 10% of Google’s syndicated search ad revenue , as reported by SEO-Gurus, then they are doing something marginally right.

February 13, 2007 Posted by | Ask.com, Google | Leave a comment