Our boss man Barry spoke with Jim Safka of Ask.com in a lengthy interview three weeks ago, and he's come out unimpressed by Ask.com's approach toward search. In the interview, Ask.com takes a stab at larger search engines (the big three) because he claims Ask.com is "smaller" (and can push things out quicker) and Safka also said that Ask "greatly over indexes in certain categories" (entertainment, health, hobbies, references). However, it seems from the conversation that Ask.com is not focused on the core algorithm.
"Have you or would you test Google organic search results in place of your organic results?," I asked. Jim initially gave me the PR speech consisting of, "we are completely devoted to our own search results." I then blatantly asked, "Is that a no?" He said it was a no and that no, Ask did not test Google results in the past six months.
Barry has admitted to Safka that core search is far from where it should be and it's not evolving as many of us are hoping for. He ends his article with "Ask Not What Is Best For Market Share, But What Is Best For Core Search." At least, that's what it should be for us. I'm not sure I am confident in Ask.com either at this point, and I know that I am not alone.
Forum discussion continues at Sphinn.