Ask.com brings back Jeeves
OK, so cast your mind back a number of years. A day when Google weren’t as dominant a player in the internet space as they are now. A time when multiple search engines were available. Yahoo, MSN (or one of its many labels), Excite, Lycos and Ask Jeeves. It seems odd now talking about anything outside of the “Big 3”, it is almost peculiar to use the term the “Big 3” given Google’s dominance.
It came as a reminder when trawling through industry sites this morning that other search engines do exist (and there used ot be a few of them). Revolution magazine have highlighted that Ask.com have rebranded for the second time in 18 months. Now this isn’t some fancy all singing affair with new Web 2.0 images and fancy bits everywhere, no its back to the olden days with our little butler pal Jeeves.
Revolution outline the move is going back to the initial notion that people will type in questions to search. Jeeves will now display answers and make recommendations. In theory this sounds like the perfect solution. Yet it probably did when AskJeeves was first formed. However given the way people have adpated their search habits to use Google, their learned behaviour means (in my opinion) they don’t type in many questions anymore.
I am not saying Ask have made a mistake here. More people are now using social networks and platforms which means they are adapting their behaviour again and moving towards a different type of English (text and short-terms are common), however search hasn’t moved. The fact that the Ask model promises to deliver more news, blogs and videos etc could be a good thing for them and people in the social spectrum. However, if I am looking for a supplier or retailer, I am not sure typing in “Where are Halfords” and then getting some forums is really what I need. Especially when one of the posts is how useless are Halfords from the AVForums.
I am keen to keep an eye on the developments at Ask (Jeeves) and see if their latest efforts can take advantage of the current social media wave. It would be great to have a serious challenger to Google. This isn’t a criticism of Google as they are still the most relevant of all the large search engines, its just as an advertiser it would be good to have a credible alternative.
Either way, good to see you back Mr Jeeves. Just a shame when I type in “Who is Richard Clark?” – a picture of Dick Clark appears.