Ask Joins Jeeves In Retirement, Leaves Search Space

It went from AskJeeves.com to Ask.com and now IAC has folded its search engine and will use either Google or Bing to provide their searches, while concentrating on the question and answer service they returned to in July, New York Times reported.

"Ask.com, founded in 1996 as AskJeeves, was a question-and-answer search engine early on, but the quality of its responses was uneven. After Google showed how profitable providing algorithmic search results could be, Ask.com followed," NYT noted.

The site's title reflects this new direction "Ask.com - What's Your Question?"

My question is why. Is the salaries of the 130 plus engineers and other employees you are laying off that much that your search efforts were losing money?

"This is the best use of our scarce resources," Doug Leeds, Ask.com's president said. "There is a big untapped business here."

Guess he has not noticed the number of competitors in the Q&A space.

"The company will shut down its offices in both locations in the next few months, and will consolidate staff at its Bay Area headquarters, Ask.com confirmed. Some employees from NJ and China will be asked to relocate to California," PC mag reported.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.