Tuesday’s SES’s keynote was with Jim Lanzone of Ask. He talked briefly about the past, present and future of Ask.com.
Jim stated that they’ve seen great growth since launching Ask 3D. They feel that they are the fastest growing in their category. Ask is not as concerned with beating the others at market share, they are more concerned with getting satisfying results back to the searchers. After launching ask 3D they are finding that about 50% of their users are not clicking on the web results but rather on of the other offerings on the page. Jim also pointed out that they are trying to get as much information above the fold as possible. To do this theyare putting content where other search sites are putting ads.
However, Ask 3D is just the beginning. Jim said that the items they have on the roadmap for Ask over the next 12 months is very exciting. However, he didn’t go into details on what that might be. He did talk about Ask Eraser though, were users that are concerned with privacy can erase it. In just a few hours all your search and tracking information will be removed from Ask and it can’t be subpoenaed. He also pointed out that with Ask, you need to turn on the history tracking tools and opt into personalized services. They don’t just give them to users.
Ask is also working on a project called farm (I think that’s the right code name). The project is designed on making data fresher and better. Getting it up to the levels that will give searchers much better results.
Not many products were talked about other than the main Ask search engine. There was a small tidbit that the new Bloglines was coming soon, but it was skimmed over. They did show a new TV commercial though that shows what the new Ask offers and, at the end, compares it to another, popular, search engine. It really showcases everything that Ask offers on the main search results page and should be on TV next week.
Again, listening to Ask talk about their product offerings at an SES conference, it makes me wish I used it more often than I do. Maybe that’s my goal for September, use Ask.com more.