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Ashley Zeckman

Innovative Search Features Drive Engagement – Paul Vallez #OMS12

Ashley Zeckman on Feb 8th, 2012     Ask, B2C, Content Marketing, Google, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Summit, Search Engines

"Google taught us how to search." - Paul Vallez

Paul Vallez admits that when he started at HP less than a year ago he had just come from Ask.com and was pretty cocky about what he knew.  Vallez also shares that he wasn’t very open to new ideas and wanted to step into his new position at a big brand and immediately demonstrate value. What was his approach?

  • 75% Cocky
  • 25% Open to new ideas

In Vallez’s presentation he identified what he called “3 Key Learnings” that he shared with the audience for improving the way that your search strategy is implemented for improved engagement.

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Search Engines Bringing Back Variables In URLs – At Your Expense

TopRank Online Marketing on Jan 21st, 2010     Ask, Google, Microsoft Bing, Online Marketing, Search Engines, SEO, Web Analytics, Yahoo

Duplicate ContentDid you realize that search engines have gone full circle on URLs in variables? It used to be considered something to avoid, now search engines are saying variables in URLs are good, as long as you use the canonical meta tag. Google is pushing them with FeedBurner and if webmasters aren’t careful, they could fall victim to a new onslaught of duplicate content issues.

One of the biggest issues with SEO is duplicate content. If search engines can’t tell which version of a document is the original or canonical version, then there can be consequences involving less than ideal search visibility. For example, the following URLs might all point to the same web page, creating the illusion that they are copies of the same thing. But in reality, it’s just one web page.

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SES San Jose: Semantic Search: How will it change our lives?

TopRank Online Marketing on Aug 18th, 2008     Ask, Marketing PR Conferences, Search Engine Strategies, Search Engines, SEO, Yahoo

Where is search headed?  We’ve heard of semantic search for a few years now, but what’s going on with it?  Each major search engine is taking the next steps but some are closer than others.  

Actually, what we are beginning to see is semantic and universal search merging together.  Yahoo, Ask, Powerset and Hakia showed screenshots that included images, videos, ratings and other media.  Are universal and semantic search the same?  Possibly. 

Yahoo Semantic Search Results Enhanced Ask Semantic Search Results Enhanced
– Sorry for the bad pictures. I haven’t got down the art of taking pictures of PowerPoint slides.

Lee Odden

Small Business Guide to Optimizing Universal Search

Lee Odden on Oct 11th, 2007     Ask, Google, Microsoft Bing, Search Engines, SEO, SEO Tips, Yahoo

SMB Universal Search Engine Optimization
The buzz in the search marketing media and increasingly, the business press, on the importance of unified or universal search is gaining momentum and is unavoidable. Small and medium sized business web site owners and webmasters are now presented with the challenge of making sense out of the recent rash of search engine interface and functional improvements and how to adjust their online marketing efforts accordingly. Many are not sure what to do. Hopefully this short guide will shed light on the fundamentals and give some basic direction on next steps.

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SES Keynote: Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone

TopRank Online Marketing on Aug 21st, 2007     Ask, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, Search Engines

Tuesday’s SES’s keynote was with Jim Lanzone of Ask. He talked briefly about the past, present and future of Ask.com.

SES 07 Keynote with Ask

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.

Lee Odden

Ask Morphs into Ask3D

Lee Odden on Jun 4th, 2007     Ask, Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing

ask.com 3d

Ask.com has upgraded to a new interface called, Ask3D. The 3D makes reference to the three panels of information on the search results page. Ask X was the development playground for Ask3D and includes some interesting features including the display of search results from specialized data sources that are unique to the query.

At first glance, the big difference between Ask X and Ask3D is the initial interface. Ask X is a search box and nothing else. Ask3D provides categories for Web, Images, Ask City, News, Blogs and the extras: video, maps and shopping. The search results page is very similar with 3 columns.

ask3d-mpls.gif

There are a number of improvements including the binoculars function showing larger preview images, one click saving to your Ask favorites and in some cases, the ability to play video clips from the third column search results.

Lee Odden

Search Engines Support Sitemaps Autodiscovery

Lee Odden on Apr 11th, 2007     Ask, Google, Microsoft Bing, Online Marketing, Yahoo

The good people at Ask.com pinged me this morning that Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft Live Search and Ask.com announced support of autodiscovery for Sitemaps today.

WebProNews published an announcement about the search engines Google and Yahoo agreeing to work on a common sitemaps standard and the launch of sitemaps.org at the WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Las Vegas last year.

The new open-format autodiscovery allows webmasters to specify the location of their sitemaps within their robots.txt file, eliminating the need to submit sitemaps to each search engine separately. The updated Sitemap protocol has benefits for site publishers, the search engines as well as searchers. Ask.com is also supporting manual submissions of sitemaps via a ping url.

Find more coverage on this over at Search Engine Land, “Search Engines Unite on Sitemaps“.

Lee Odden

Ask.com Launches Version 2.0 of Sponsored Listings

Lee Odden on Oct 2nd, 2006     Ask, Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing, Search Marketing

asl.gif
Ask.com has announced this morning the launch of an upgraded version of Ask Sponsored Listings with improvements based on advertiser feedback and a new API to allow search marketers to create customized tools.
Here are some of the new features:

• Daily Budgeting
• Variable Refill Amount
• Hourly Billable Data
• Bulk Upload Enhancements
• Dashboard Reports

Looks like Ask is stepping up in the world and with 66% year over year growth in searches (2005 to 2006) according to Nielsen/Netratings, there’s a lot more overall search market share left to take from MSN and AOL.

Barry provides these links to more info: Program details and a “ASL 2.0 Webinar“.

Lee Odden

Blogger Relations: Ask.com “gets it”

Lee Odden on Aug 16th, 2006     Ask, Blogging, Marketing Industry News, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies

On Wed night of Search Engine Strategies last week I had the privilege of attending a dinner hosted by Gary Price of Ask.com. Organized by their PR department, Ask was making a specific effort to reach out to bloggers in the search marketing space. Other Ask staff were in attendance as well including Paul Vallez the Director of Ask search advertising, a representative from Bloglines as well as Paul Loeffler and Patrick Crisp from their public relations department.

Bloggers in attendance included: Matt Bailey, Rand Fishkin and his mom Gillian, Chris Pirillo, Andy Beal, Loren Baker, Lee Odden, Jennifer Laycock and our favorite party crasher, Jim Hedger. (links are to photos from the dinner)

Lee Odden

SES San Jose Exhibit Hall Photos

Lee Odden on Aug 8th, 2006     Ask, Google, Marketing PR Conferences, Microsoft Bing, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, Yahoo

I have to say, when I walked into the exhibit hall this am for a quick look, I was impressed! Lots of space and lots of exhibitors. Incisive Media has done a bang up job. Here are a few candids:

SES San Jose
Google Booth

SES San Jose
Yahoo Booth

SES San Jose
Microsoft adCenter Booth

SES San Jose
Ask.com Booth

SES San Jose
Daron Babin and Greg Hartnet

SES San Jose
SEMPO Booth

SES San Jose
Mick Jolly and David McInnis of PRWeb

SES San Jose
Fionn Downhill and a co-worker from Elixr Systems

SES San Jose
Giving away a car?

SES San Jose
An animated Rand Fishkin

Lee Odden

Sunday Search Marketing News

Lee Odden on Jul 23rd, 2006     Ask, Google, Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing, Yahoo
Lee Odden

Search Engine Relevancy

Lee Odden on Jun 13th, 2006     Ask, Google, Marketing Industry News, Microsoft Bing, Online Marketing, SEO, Yahoo

Aaron Wall has posted an excellent article on search engine relevancy over at SEOBook.com explaining his perception of the different relevancy criteria used by Google, Yahoo and MSN. Aaron offers both a short version and long version. Yahoo is great, but can still be manipulated. Google is best at determining relevancy. MSN is still new and currently easiest to manipulate. Ask is good, but their small market share does not necessarily warrant specific attention from a SEO perspective.

This is a great resource offering some very useful tips and insights for those that are grappling with understanding how search engines determine what’s relevant. This article is not just for newbies though. Aaron pays attention to concepts like the importance of site age, editorial and social factors that you don’t see in other articles of this sort and that are increasingly important.

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