Wall Street Journal columnist and All Things Digital organizer Walt Mossberg compared Google's Universal Search with Ask.com's Ask3D, and found Ask3D to be a better way of presenting search results. In Ask.com Takes Lead In Designing Display Of Search Results, Mossberg writes:
Now, Google and Ask each have rolled out new ways of presenting search results. Google's approach, which it calls “universal search,” is a modest thing, a first step in what it says will be a long effort to break down barriers between different types of information a user may be seeking, such as Web links, images and news.
But Ask's new system, called “Ask3D,” is a much bolder and better advance in unifying different kinds of results and presenting them in a more effective manner. It shows, once again, that Ask places a higher priority than its competitors do on making search results easy to navigate and use.
Ask.com is currently trying to become a legitimate contender in search, with a new ad campaign and new features like Ask3D. A favorable review from Mossberg can help spread the word to the masses, but it will take much more than that to get users to change their behavior.