Ask.com | How is it Different from Google Search?

Ask.com, formerly Ask Jeeves, is an Internet search engine that you can use to find relevant Web pages. Based on specific keywords and has steps to verify your site on its engine. If you’re a website owner, index and rank your website in major search engines such as Ask.com. You can benefit from the success of your website.

For instance, Jobseekers spend hours crafting their cover letters, contacting different companies, hoping to get a job interview. A smart job seeker knows the common interview questions for a job interview and will prepare answers accordingly.

Ask.com - What's Your Question?

Anticipating and crafting interview questions and answers give you the best shot at making a good impression. Usually, employers Ask a common set of questions. So, in similarity, Ask.com provides you with smart answers for questions you search on its engine.

This is a search engine that is famous for its innovation in search technology and search boundary design. Ask provides information-rich content to its internet users. In addition, it helps you with indexing and ranking your website in major search engines.

How does Ask.com work?

Ask.com is a question answering-focused e-business and web search engine founded in 1996 by Garrett Gruener and David Warthen in Berkeley, California. The original software was implemented by Gary Chevsky from his own design – Google.com.

In 1996 Ask.com was launched as ‘Ask Jeeves’, a partnership between entrepreneur David Warthen and venture capitalist Garrett Gruener. The idea was to form a search engine that spurred the users. To ask questions in their natural language rather than keywords.

The character of Jeeves was a butler who was based on the popular character from the Jeeves & Wooster books. In 2006, the character was ‘retired’ and the website became known as ask.com. The company grew rapidly during its first few years. Hence, its initial stock offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange occurred in 1999.

Ask.com Search Engine

Around the same time, Ask purchased the two companies. Each designed to allow users of the search engines gets more relevant content. The first of these purchases was ‘Direct Hit Technologies’ a company designing software to organize online content. The second company was ‘Teoma Technologies’ using an algorithm to sort search results in order of relevancy.

On 21st March 2005, the next stage of Ask.com began. The stock exchange delisted it and InterActiveCorp purchasing it for $1.85 Billion. IAC began making changes straight away with the Jeeves character phasing out by September that year. In future advertising, the site would no longer be AskJeeves.com but Ask.com.

How did the Search Engine evolve?

In June following year the next big stage of Ask.com occurred. This was the launch of the Ask3D Feature which would bring a change in the way search results serve up. When using the website. This feature allows the user to see all relevant content on one screen, for example, For a business search, a map would appear.

You would also be serving up shopping information or music clips if you search for an artist. In addition to this, a pair of binoculars was an add next to every search result. That enables the user to view a preview of the website without opening it up. Perfect for avoiding the less than savory websites.

In 2008 InterActiveCorp added the Lexico Publishing group of companies to its portfolio. These websites include popular reference.com, dictionary.com, and thesaurus.com. Further, it increased the amount of diversity that Ask could offer in its search results.

In 2010 Ask began focusing on more of a Q&A site with the launch of http://answers.ask.com with an iPhone app coming at a later date. Like similar websites such as Yahoo Answers this website allowed users to ask questions and obtain answers to them.

Whilst this site is not as popular as other websites that offer the same services. It did breathe a little bit of life into a wavering company.

How does Ask.com work?

Ask.com, formerly Ask Jeeves, as an Internet search engine that you can use to find relevant Web pages based on specific keywords has steps to verify your site on its engine. If you’re a website owner, index and rank your website in major search engines such as Ask.com.

You can benefit from the success of your website ranking. To submit your site to Ask.com, you must have a sitemap in XML format uploaded to your Web server. You can then submit the sitemap URL directly to Ask.com using the Ask.com submission URL.

Step 1

Open a text editor on your computer and paste in the following submission URL: http://submissions.ask.com/ping?sitemap=http%3A//www.URL.com/sitemap.xml.

Step 2

Replace “www.URL.com/sitemap.xml” with the URL of your website sitemap. Don’t include “http” or “https” at the beginning of your URL. Your sitemap must be in XML format.

Step 3

Launch your Web browser then copy and paste the entire submission URL. Including your sitemap, into the browser address bar and press “Enter.” A confirmation message from Ask.com appears in the browser.

How is Ask.com different from Google?

Generally, Ask.com technology “looks at the Web differently”. Whereas Google’s PageRank ranks its search results by popularity, Ask has something it calls “ExpertRank”. Essentially, this is an automated search algorithm (like Google has). But, on top of that results are ordered using topic communities and the editorial functions that create ‘Smart Answers’.

While the ExpertRank formula is a secret sauce that Ask.com won’t divulge, they do say that the top results in searches are determined by expertise – and not popularity. As it states on their help pages:

“Identifying topics (also known as “clusters”), the experts on those topics, and the popularity of millions of pages amongst those experts — at the exact moment your search query is conducted — requires many additional calculations that other search engines do not perform.”

What are the Smart Answers in Ask?

For a start, they don’t pop up on every search result. For example, a search for “Richard MacManus” displays the primary RSS feed at the top of the page, instead of a smart answer. The Ask team said that smart answers are editorially done. And is a reminder of their natural language past.

If you recall, Ask Jeeves (as it used to be known before the butler was fired, er I mean decommissioned) started out as a search engine. Whereby, you could ask a natural language question – e.g. “what the heck is web 2.0?” – and get back a good answer.

Smart Answer is an extension of that philosophy of providing a natural language answer to a user’s search query. It does this by a combination of automated data mining and human editorial. But, the human editors don’t physically write the answers, – rather they act as aggregators and filters.

Currently, over 20% of Ask’s entire search terms – and hundreds of categories – have a Smart Answer.

How does Ask Compare with Google?

If you compare Ask.com to Google, there are immediately some noticeable differences. An obvious one is that Ask.com puts its advertisements within the main content pane, instead of in a separate right-hand pane as Google does. So, when you do a general search in Ask, the right-hand pane is sometimes occupied by advanced search options.

Below are screenshots, showing a search on “search results” in Ask, followed by the same query in Google:

Ask.com Search Results

Google Search Engine Results

Also, Ask often has its ‘smart answers’ at the top of the main pane. The effect of all this is to give the user more immediately useful information – and drill down options – on the first page of results. This is what Jim Lanzone meant at Web 2.0 Summit when he said that “Ask.com enables users to do more, faster.”

Resources;

Finally, I hope the above-revised guide on Ask was helpful. But, if you have any additional contributions, questions, or even suggestions, please let us know how we can help.

In addition, you can share your thoughts in the comments box or even Contact Us for more personalized answers. Below are more resourceful and related topic links;

  1. Google Search Console | Improve Your Rankings & CTR
  2. DW Question & Answer Pro – A Free WordPress Site Plugin
  3. Search Engine Results Page | How do you Get on SERPs?
  4. SERP | How do you Improve your Google Search Results?
  5. Organic Search | 7 Steps to Increase on Unpaid Site Traffic
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