Looking back at the past few months of posts here at Marketing Pilgrim it is real obvious what players dominate the search and social media landscape. I am not going to rehash those names again because you will likely read about one or more of them in the next post. One player that gets little attention is Ask.com. They are back trying to make some noise again but is anyone around to hear them?
Ask has been at this search thing for quite a while now. Now a part of IAC / InterActiveCorp the search engine has been around in some way, manner, shape or form since 1996. It even had a butler at one point ;-). Now, however, it struggles to be more than a footnote in the search engine wars running a distant fourth in a three company race (despite seeing some increase in usage in March).
MediaPost reports that the latest attempt by the search engine to set itself apart and make some inroads in the search race is through providing quality scores for clicks using Anchor Intelligene’s ClearMark software.
ClearMark, Anchor’s traffic scoring system, classifies traffic quality and ad events. It provides a score that represents the quality of the traffic and the value of each click. Ask.com now has better information about each ad event to better target advertising to people who use the engine to search the Web.
The system is designed for both user and advertiser alike,
The deal also benefits advertisers, from mom-and-pop shops to larger companies similar to eBay, according to Richard Sim, VP of product management and marketing, who likened the ClearMark system to a FICO credit score for clicks, as well as other scoring systems such as Quality of Service (QoS) for the telecom industry, VeriSign and TRUSTe for ecommerce, Arbitron for radio and Nielsen for television.
The most telling remark of all, however, comes from Nicholas Graham, VP of communications at Ask.com who responded to whether Anchor and Ask had other plans. He said that the search engine continues to learn how to walk before it can run. One has to wonder how patient anyone can be with a business that has spent 13 years learning how to walk.