While Asking Jeeves...
MicroSoft has not publicly stated any great interest, but
Ask Jeeves President Steve Berkowitz suggested he might be open to deal if it was in the interests of the company's shareholders, although he did not comment directly on any offers coming from Microsoft. - source
New MSN Search Features
In addition MSN has added a drop down box to allow people to search for specific things such as movies or news. Elsewhere MSN added its search technology preview to the MSN sandbox.
Paid Inclusion is Garbage
MSN also decided to filter out their paid inclusion search results. (time to edit my ebook again) "We really we want customers to feel the best about the results being served," MSN's Grothaus said.
Google"It's hard to be sure that the end result of the algorithm would be the same and that everyone is being treated fairly," Google's Silverstein said of allowing paid inclusion.
Ask Jeeves"We will continue to get better at crawling," said Jim Lanzone, vice president of product management at Ask Jeeves. "The value proposition of Site Submit has ceased to exist."
More Paid Inclusion is Garbage / Bad Press for Yahoo!
Recently a person I consulted in the past had some of their Yahoo! listings disappear overnight (and from my talking to many other SEOs this is becoming somewhat common). After paying for inclusion into Overture Site Match, my friend's site still does not show up for terms he has shown up for ever since the inception of Yahoo! Search.
He sent them a request question and they gave him a complete crap form letter response that suggested he visit WebmasterWorld to learn more about SEO.
There horrific customer service and near complete disapproval toward the program from SEOs and webmasters has Yahoo! considering dumping or changing the program. (or at least that is what credible sources say)
"We have been advised that as of September 30th 2004, Ask Jeeves will be no longer accepting new submissions to the Site Submit Paid Inclusion program. ...
Customers who currently have URLs in Ask Jeeves Site Submit managed by ineedhits.com will continue to receive the full benefits of their current subscription until such time as their subscription expires. This includes click thru reporting, regular refreshes and access to customer service."- source: SEW forums
"Ask Jeeves rolls out new search shortcuts and a site-preview tool today as it aims to offer itself as a credible search alternative to Yahoo and Google." - source: DM News.
It would be a lie for me to say I often view most of the mass media. What little I have viewed though has shown me that Ask Jeeves is becomming more serious about gaining market distribution.
Recently at SES New York I have got my Ask Jeeves magic 8 ball and free Ask Jeeves pen, but these are small issues. What media I have seen has had more ads here and there for their product. Also while I was walking through Times Square I saw a huge Ask Jeeves ad on the Nasdaq board...which was cool.
AOL is a rather large site to be using a third party search provider. Many rumors have been floating around that AOL may aquire Ask Jeeves. I hate AOL and hope they do not buy and ruin Ask Jeeves.
Ask Jeeves Buying Search Engine Distribution
"Ask Jeeves said on Thursday it would buy Interactive Search Holdings Inc. for about $328 million, rocketing the stock by as much as 43 percent as the company seeks to compete with the top Internet search engines Google and Yahoo.
The company said its plan to acquire the owner of search Web sites iWon, Excite and My Search would double Ask Jeeves' market share in the increasingly cut-throat industry to 7 percent, and would also boost its profits."
- source: Yahoo! News
Ask Jeeves (ASKJ) stock slid about 5% today, only to regain its ground in after hour trading after posting strong results. Revenue grew to $31.8 million from $20.2 million. Ask Jeeves reported "net income from continuing operations of $7.6 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with its year-earlier net income from continuing operations of $2.9 million, or 6 cents per share."
Though Teoma is one of the most powerful search engines in the world they lack the public support of Google and do not have the financial resources to compete with Yahoo or MSN.
Ask Jeeves is exceptionally dependent on ad revenues from Google AdWords, as they drive most of the companies profits. It will be interesting to see how Ask markets this product throughout the year, and what steps (if any) they may take to distance themselves from their current partnership.
Just a reminder to those who do not have good Inktomi placement that MSN is to be dumping LookSmart in about a half a month (Jan 15). Some speculate that MSN may want to eventually shift to Ask Jeeves until it gets its technology in order.
I presume that MSN will stick with Inktomi until it builds its own technology. With Yahoo desiring to part ways with Google it is certain they will be investing heavily into making Inktomi a competitive product.
MSN will become competitve and remain so by the natural market forces of competition between Yahoo and Google... until it creates its own search product... You can check your Inktomi placement using Hotbot on its default setting, or by useing Pure Search provided by PositionTech.