Search Results for: \"\"

Barry Diller Ready to Stick a Fork in

Barry Diller is getting close to waving his white flag in the search wars.

During IAC’s quarterly earnings conference call, the top dog made it quite clear that may be on the chopping block:

"We’ve been asked a lot whether we’re open to consolidating transactions in the area of search. The answer is yes," Diller said. "And, it is unlikely that we would be the consolidator."

While Diller cautioned "you cannot really make any absolutes" about deals, he acknowledged that faced a challenging environment in a search business.

He may as well have hung up a "For Sale" sign on the homepage! CEO Ready to Part Ways

After 18 months on the job, current chief executive, Jim Safka, will be leaving the company.

The decision to leave was difficult for Jim, and it came about under very unfortunate circumstances. Jim’s brother recently passed away, causing Jim to re-evaluate his life. Marketing Pilgrim wishes Jim best of luck in his future endeavors.

Jim’s departure won’t be easy for Ask, as they are already far behind competitors in the search engine realm (only a 2.1% market share in March). Jim was originally hired to replace Jim Lanzone as part of the company’s shake up back in January 2008.

In an e-mail to the company’s staff, InterActiveCorp CEO Barry Diller acknowledged Jim’s contributions to the company:

Underdog Grows 20% in January

According to comScore data released today, had the biggest jump in search queries. By that measurement, Ask had more growth than Google, MSN, or Yahoo last month (January 2008) compared to the prior month’s volume.

Ask has a small piece of search market share but they have been a leader in universal search. That is, they integrate search results for more than web sites – but for images, video, local information, news, blogs, and other media. Ask got further into social media integration with their recently launched social news aggregation site BigNews.

Of course, Ask occupies a tiny sliver of the overall search volume. Here’s the breakdown on the top 4 search engines:

  • Google Sites – 7.7 billion searches (comScore says Google got 58.4% of searches in January) First Major Search Engine to Allow Deletion of All User Search History

SEL has a great overview of’s pending launch of AskEraser, which will allow users to delete their search history at any time.

From the press release:

With AskEraser, people can ensure that their search history will not be retained by Searchers will have easy access to AskEraser and can change their privacy preference at any time. Once selected, searchers’ privacy settings will be clearly indicated on search results pages so they always know the privacy status of their searches.

“AskEraser is a great solution for those looking for an additional level of privacy when they search online,” said Jim Lanzone, CEO of “Anonymous user data can be very useful to enhance search products for all users, and we’re committed to being open and transparent about how such information is used. But we also understand that there are some who are interested in new tools that will help protect their privacy further, and we will give them that control on”

Ask Takes Google to Task on Privacy

Forget the fact that privacy watchdogs are all over Google threatening legal action for not linking prominently to their privacy policy—now other search companies are out to steal their bacon. is circulating news that they’re now prominently linking to their privacy policy.

From the email:

At Ask, we take our commitment to user privacy and data protection very seriously. We’ve demonstrated this not just through words, but through deeds and actions. We were the first major search company to announce that we would be placing privacy tools directly in the hands of our users, as we said we would do in July 2007. Then, we did it: we launched AskEraser in December 2007. Ask remains the only major search company to develop and deploy a privacy protection tool that that empowers web users to make decisions as to data retention by Ask. The AskEraser tool is right there on our homepage, a one-step mechanism to deleting a users’ search data from servers.

Ask Asks If the Human Element Will Help Its Search Business

Ask has always been the red-headed stepchild of the search industry. It’s always lurking in the shadows as the #4 search engine and usually gets a mention in search share only if there was significant up or down movement. Accounting has the Big 4 but search only has the Big 3 which is soon to be the Big 2 ½ or something once bing and Yahoo fully consummate their relationship. Ask is usually not included in those talks but is making changes to differentiate itself and hopefully make more of a splash in that area. The key to that hope: good ol’ fashioned human beings!

The Ask blog reports

What’s Ahead for

I guess we’re all getting a little tired of writing about Google. Ask has been on the forefront of more than one person’s mind lately. logo Jennifer Laycock asks whether Ask is On Fire, or Going Down in Flames? Good question. She points to Nielsen//NetRatings’ April results which show Google’s market share at 55.2%, up 48% over last year—and Ask’s market share at 1.8% and actually down 2.3% (or down half a percentage point) from last year.

Josh Catone on Read/WriteWeb asks whether Ask’s future should be search (riffing on Allen Stern of CenterNetwork’s plan to get back on track). Josh suggests that they should focus on their advertising products instead. It’s not a bad idea.