A WebmasterWorld thread has one member spotting Google search results in the Ask.com web search results. textex, who has been a WebmasterWorld member since 2003 and I personally find to be a trusted forum informant said last night:
I am seeing Google results on Ask right now!
Unfortunately, he decided to quickly clear his cookies and reproduce the same results. When he cleared his cookies, he was no longer able to see it. He does not want to publicize the keyword phrase he used but he did say it did happen. I do believe him, even though the Ask.com PR team says it is not happening (not that I think they are lying, I just don't think they know.)
If you guys want to help out, please conduct some random searches on Ask.com and see if any of them match the Google search results. Make sure when searching in Google to be logged out and personalized search off. Also, when searching in Ask.com, I would test it in Internet Explorer on a PC. If you do see that the results match, please contact me at barry.schwartz AT gmail.com, attach a screen capture of the results, the browser type and version and your OS. I seriously want to have these cases documented if possible, it is one thing to go by someone's word and another thing to have a screen capture.
Why is this so important? Most of you know by now that IAC cut 8% of Ask.com and set out a new strategy for Ask.com, a strategy that in my opinion will kill the search engine as we know it today. I will write on this topic a little later, but removing Jim Lanzone, now Gary Price and 8% of Ask.com and then telling us they will focus on building out an engine for women who ask questions on health and entertainment - well - how can we take them as a serious Google competitor anymore, we can't.
Again, if you can please run some tests between Ask.com and Google and see if anything matches, it would be appreciated. This can be the first signs of proof that Ask.com is really thinking about dropping the search engine in favor for a lower cost syndication service with Google. This scenario is very possible, as paidContent.org suggests.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.
Update: Here is my post on Ask.com's announcement: Search Community Reaction to Ask.com New Search Strategy.