Ask Jeeves Launches Own Image Search Engine

Ever since Ask Jeeves announced they were tweaking the image search results offered by their partner Picsearch, we have suspected they were working on their own technology.

Today, that becomes a reality with Ask’s launch of their own proprietary image search technology.

With the new image technology, Ask Jeeves is also expanding Image Smart Answers, which appear at the top of the search results page for queries such as “pictures of Mount St. Helens� from the main Web channel. All picture results can be saved to users’ MyJeeves by clicking the ‘save’ link under each image. MyJeeves is a personal search service where links to web pages, images and selected Smart Answers can be stored, organized, annotated, searched and shared.

“Image search is an important technical challenge to solve for our users,� said Apostolos Gerasoulis, executive vice president of search technology for Ask Jeeves. “We find that, as we concentrate our efforts on providing first-class relevance and tools for image searching, the usage of the Pictures channel on Ask.com steadily continues to grow.�

Ask also expands its popular “Zoom” technology to its image search offering. Zoom related search is a proprietary concept that gives users suggestions on how to narrow or expand their search.

So what’s up with this picture? No email service? No radio network? Not even a video subscription service? Oh yeah, that’s right, while others are getting in to everything and anything, Ask is quietly focusing on what it calls “core search”. ;-)