I remember arriving at High Holborn tube station in London one morning way back in the late 90s and being bewildered to find it teeming with dozens of ‘Jeeves’ clones, fully-liveried butlers carrying trays. They were offering commuters business cards boasting the url: askjeeves.co.uk, the newest solution to finding things online. Ah! The heady days of the dotcom boom, I remember them fondly!
But time has moved on. Jeeves has long since vacated the search engine service. And Ask.com is still trying to compete with Google and MSN in the search market. To this end, the company has unveiled a new version of its site…one that reverts to the Q&A format of the past. The idea is for users to ask a simple question to find out what they are searching for, as opposed to using a string of key words to search.
Ask.com has spent the last year finalising algorithms and trawling the internet to index more than 500 million questions and answers.
In addition, the new search engine will depend on social media. Should a user fail to find an answer, he is invited to pose it to the Ask.com community, said to be comprised of almost 90 million monthly users.
Internet search continues to evolve and although Google is the recognised runaway leader in the market, there are other players trying to solve the significant challenge of relevancy, each with its own algorithms, tautology and approach.
So don’t rely solely on Google to find what you are looking for. Dogpile.com, Bing.com, Ask.com or any of the hundreds of other specialist search engines might work to help you find the most relevant content online.