Should Diller Sell Ask.com? No, Donate it to Rutgers University

Oct 30, 2009 • 8:33 am | comments (2) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Ask.com - Ask Jeeves
 

There was a lot of recent discussion and news coverage of Barry Diller (IAC) making a comment that he wants to sell Ask.com. Then Microsoft came up as a potential buyer.

You all know what I think of Ask.com these days. I think Ask.com is not about search, their technology is falling apart and they try to monetize everything as best as they can. They tried to drive more life into Ask in the UK by bringing back Jeeves, soon later Jim Safka left for personal reason (but joined a new company shortly after). Yes, and they recently killed Ask Japan.

I believe since Diller ripped the soul from Ask.com, Ask.com would ultimately be a failure. And looking back, I am sad to say, my prediction (as well as others) seems to be dead on.

A WebmasterWorld thread has an interesting conversation around should/could Microsoft "save" Ask.com? Personally, I think, why bother? I personally think Diller should donate the engine back to Rutgers University and let the old team get back to innovating.

What do you think? Take my poll:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

Michael Martinez

10/30/2009 05:35 pm

Ask still outperforms Google and the other major search engines in many queries. The increased monetization of Ask's results makes sense although it's not providing a pleasant user experience. I think Ask should sell to AOL. AOL needs a real search engine and maybe Tim Armstrong will have that goal in mind as he navigates the waters of independent corporate planning.

sem4u

11/17/2009 03:34 pm

Diller should keep it and try to improve it further. He may want to look at integrating it more with match.com

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