Ask.com search engine concedes defeat, to shut down

ask-searchThe California-based online search engine, Ask.com, which launched over ten years ago in 1996, has announced the company would discontinue its web-based search business, citing intensifying competition from top rivals like Google.

Ask.com will be transitioned into a question & answer online community with search functionalities, and the ability for members to post questions targeted directly to other community members who could post their own replies.

The company would continue to index other popular Q&A websites, and return questions already asked on other networks in search results.

The service would use new proprietary algorithms developed to evaluate user-generated replies from other networks to rank trustworthiness.

The company is essentially going back to its roots of being a Q&A centric website, just as the Internet population once flocked to Ask.com to “ask” questions – think AskJeeves.

The company at one point served nearly 2-million search queries each and every day.

In spite of offering a variety of advanced features in its search product, and even tools that were not available on competing services like Google, Ask.com failed to gain sufficient traction, which ultimately forced the company in the longer run to abandon its search business, pushing management to re-focus on the core Q&A business.

Despite the more advanced features that made online search on Ask.com more seamless at the time, generated search results were not as relevant for users, and as competitors like Google developed more advanced technologies to better evaluate and rank websites, users primarily slowly flocked to Google who offered a gateway to more reliable information.

Top innovations Ask.com offered before top rivals include web page previews, blog search, and toolbars that included a variety of widgets through various partners.

In the summer of 2005, Ask.com was acquired by InterActiveCorp for $1.85-billion, subsequently de-listing the company’s shares from the OTC NASDAQ (ASKJ) exchange.

The company currently makes about $227-million in annual gross revenue, according to Wikipedia.

The company plans to entirely discontinue its search business, and cease all future development on its technologies that rank web pages in search results.

As part of disbanding the business unit, the company would also layoff more than 100 employees that include engineers and programmers, among others, with the job cuts largely affecting U.S. workers.

Google currently holds a dominant 65-percent share of the U.S. online search market.


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  • http://topstudylinks.com/ SANA IRFAN KHAN

    if the search engines understand the users need there is rooom for more search engines

  • http://twitter.com/AskEachOtherVIP Ken Davis

    They should innovate, keep up, evolve…get some fresh ideas in there and maybe they would have sustained their Q&A and not ever lost traction with their Search…

    They basically should partner with us (AskEachOther.com, especially since they keep using that exactly terminology in their new efforts to go back into Q&A) and it’ll be a win-win.

  • http://www.kingrosales.com King

    It was only a matter of time. But, at least they still have TicketMaster, etc :)

  • http://www.kingrosales.com King

    It was only a matter of time. But, at least they still have TicketMaster, etc :)

  • http://www.babyallergies.net BabyAllergies

    Honestly, who dare competing with Google…

  • http://www.babyallergies.net BabyAllergies

    Honestly, who dare competing with Google…

  • http://twitter.com/dbametrix Dbametrix

    It is really bad news.

  • http://twitter.com/dbametrix Dbametrix

    It is really bad news.

  • http://bGoog.com Black Google

    Google is definitely on top! I Google on my phone with a black background at http://bGoog.com to save battery power and it looks better too!!

  • http://bGoog.com Black Google

    Google is definitely on top! I Google on my phone with a black background at http://bGoog.com to save battery power and it looks better too!!

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