Ask.com has good news sprouting up everywhere, it seems. Their new feature-heavy, offensive-content-free commercial premiered last week and now comes the news that their new interface, Ask 3D, is useful!
MediaPost reports today on comScore data that indicates that nearly 10% of Ask’s 50 million searchers refine their searches using the left column related searches and zoom related searches. Those 5 million unique visitors represent nearly 3% of the total Internet population. With Ask’s market share hovering around 4%, marked loyalty to Ask’s interface could definitely impact their dominance—the MediaPost article even addresses the possibility of eclipsing MSN.
More good news in the MediaPost article: independent studies show that Ask’s new interface enhances their customer satisfaction:
Ask.com is expanding it’s European footprint with news that they creating a research and development center in Hamburg, Germany.
“The expansion of our European research and development team will allow Ask.com to continue to develop and scale our world-class search,” said Apostolos Gerasoulis, executive vice president of search technology at Ask.com.
The company also announced the appointment of Eric Heymann as director of global content acquisition for Ask.com and head of the Hamburg team.
By now, you should have heard that Ask.com has radically changed their user interface. They’re taking a bold step in overhauling the way people interact with a search engine, creating a 3 panel view of your search query.
Jordan and I sat down at SMX with Ask.com’s user experience guru, Michael Ferguson, and got an exclusive video walk-thru. We’re very impressed and believe most Ask.com users will be too. The trick for Ask.com is to now spread the word about the new interface.
The room we used was dark, so you’ll barely see Ferguson, but you’ll see plenty of the new interface, and Ferguson shares some great info, not found on any other site. Another Marketing Pilgrim exclusive!
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).
On Saturday, we reported Steve Berkowitz’s move from Ask.com to Microsoft. At the time, I offered that “Jim Lanzone is more than capable to take over”. And indeed IAC sees the same value in Jim, today naming him to CEO of Ask.com.
“Jim is one of the most respected leaders in the search industry, having been principally responsible every day for the turnaround of the Ask product and brand over the past several years,” said Doug Lebda, IAC President and Chief Operating Officer. “With his vision for the future and successful track record for driving the Ask.com business, he has been and will be the ideal leader for the next stage of the company’s growth.”
Congratulations Jim, this is very much deserved!
The Ask spots feature the four characters from the original campaign, plus one of the tallest men in the UK, a dog, and a rhesus monkey, the latter of whom proved to be extremely difficult to work with. “We discovered on the shoot that he hates women,” Sarah quipped,. The monkey eventually had to be shot in a separate room and combined into the picture using split-screen.
One spot, promoting Ask.com Smart Answers, featured a combined sort of human-dog-person. You’ll have to see the ad to understand. Another, using both tallest British-born man Neil Fingleton and the monkey, promotes all the features of our results page: left rail search suggestions, right-rail smart content, and more.
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