Ask.com Officially Not A Search Engine, Maybe The Return Of Jeeves?

Nov 10, 2010 • 8:57 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Ask.com - Ask Jeeves
 

Ask JeevesAsk.com announced very sad news yesterday, they are letting go 130 hard workers due to a change in their strategy. That change is they will no longer index the web and will focus on being a question and answer engine. They are closing down the Edison, N.J. and Hangzhou, China offices, where their web search teams are based.

Yes, over a hundred people are losing their jobs and it is also sad to see another player fall in the search space - but ultimately, I agree, this is the right move for Ask.com.

Doug at Ask.com wrote a pretty honest post at the Ask blog about this. I think it is worth a read and I appreciate his honesty.

To me, I am not surprised - I am sad, sad to see so many good people lose their jobs and sad to see a potentially good Google competitor go. But it is the right move. The story headlines found on Techmeme range from IAC's Barry Diller Surrenders to Google, Ends Ask.com's Search Effort and Ask.com Gives Up On Search, Hangs Its Hopes On Q&A. But Danny's title was much more soft, Ask.com To Focus On Q&A Search, End Web Crawling.

The only good thing I can see from this is that Jeeves might come back to the US? As you know, he has been back in the UK for a while now. So maybe he will return to the US, since the Ask.com strategy is no longer search. I hope so.

I am sad, but like I said, I felt Ask.com was dead for a long long time now. So it is good for them to move on and focus on things they can do right.

Forum discussion at Google Blogoscoped Forums and WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

simon

11/10/2010 04:15 pm

You can bring Jeeves back at any time by changing your theme on Ask.com to the Jeeves theme.

Barry Schwartz

11/10/2010 04:18 pm

I know. I guess you don't see my point.

Michael Martinez

11/10/2010 05:31 pm

You know, when I spoke to the US government about the Yahoo!-Bing deal, they suggested that Ask.com might step into the void Yahoo! was creating. Having no idea that Ask would exit the search business completely, I told them I didn't think that would happen. This is the worst kind of vindication one could want. Websearch works best for consumers when we have choice and despite the fact there are nearly 100 search engines today, we have relatively few viable choices. In fact, we only have two viable choices: Google and Bing. Blekko may have earned some buzz but they're not ready to step into the void. Ask had good technology but just didn't have the leadership suited to deal with the search market. At least the current Ask leadership is being honest about what their priorities are. Good luck to all the former Ask employees. I'm sure there are opportunities for them in the social media monitoring sphere.

Michael

11/10/2010 10:58 pm

Had Ask on my homepage for years. It's always tough to see a long lasting search engine go down. We might be able to help some of the Ask employees who were let go. Covario is also in the social media sphere and we currently have seo opportunities throughout the U.S. If you were part of the restructuring at Ask, send us an email: jobs @ covario dot com

No Name

11/16/2010 09:11 pm

Yeah, this cannot be seen as good as I read here: http://chronicle.com/article/The-Future-of-Free-Speech/125326/ But on the other hand we have choices like duckduckgo.com & blekko.com along with the countless meta-search sites. It's in the hands of the internet-user to use which service they like. Sadly the big name brands have the money for product placement...

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