First signs on "The Algorithm" came when Edison was leaked at SES NY from Apostolos Gerasoulis, the co-founder of Ask.com's technologies. Edison is the code name of the new algorithm, more on how that works here.
Since then, Ask.com has launched many local campaigns to generate buzz about "the algorithm." Some of those campaigns are a bit controversial. The goal, in my opinion, is to generate buzz around the phrase "the algorithm." Ask.com's CEO, Jim Lanzone, has gone on the record saying that they want the word "algorithm" to be a cool word.
You know, the "no publicity is bad publicity" concept.
Now that Ask.com is backing these billboards on the algorithm with these new TV spots, that are both tasteful and cool, I think it may just help a bit. At least I hope so. Hey, I still am for the underdog and have been for a while. Check out my Ask Jeeves: The Little Engine That Could from 2004.
Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.