Ask Brings the Algorithm Mainstream

Ask.com's recent offline advertising campaign is shifting into high gear to build up buzz around Ask's upcoming Edison algorithm, which Ask's Apostolos Gerasoulis spoke about at Search Engine Strategies in New York last month.

In The Algorithm is On The Move, Ask's VP of marketing Greg Ott explains that the campaign, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, will bring the term "algorithm" to the world outside of SEO. But it will not do it in a way that might hurt people, he says:

"No, the campaign won't go into detail about how an algorithm actually works. We don't want to make people's heads explode. We just want them to know there's something in there – think Intel Inside, Verizon's Network, Dodge's Hemi…heck, even VW's Fahrvergnugen – that's different and working to make search better for you."

The Edison algorithm is expected to combine into one engine the best of Ask's two technologies: the mainly clickthrough-based Direct Hit, acquired in February 2000, and the link analysis-based Teoma, acquired in September 2001.

Ask parent IAC reported its first quarter earnings today, including a 43 percent rise in media and advertising revenue, fueled by growth in search queries and revenue per query.