TopRank Online Marketing

TopRank Online Marketing

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

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.

Lee Odden

Ask.com Blog and Feed Search

Lee Odden on May 31st, 2006     Ask, Blogging, Blogging News, Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing, RSS

Ask.com Blogs and Feeds Search

The long awaited Ask.com Blog Search Engine has finally launched. There are two iterations: One for Ask.com in the form of another right side option. The other within Bloglines.com. The Ask.com blogs and feeds search is directed more towards general users. The Bloglines versions offers more advanced options for “prosumers” as Kaushal Kurapati from Ask.com called them in our preview call.

Key features include the use of Ask.com “expert rank” which breaks the web into communities and defines subject specific link popularity. This is combined with Bloglines.com subscription data to determine relevance in blog and feed search results.

Another key feature is the quality of content. Ask.com Blogs and Feeds search is available in 20 languages with 4-6 million articles indexed per day. There are 1.5 billion articles indexed overall. Blogs and feeds that are indexed only include the feeds that Bloglines users have subscribed to.

Lee Odden

SES NYC Interviews

Lee Odden on Mar 15th, 2006     Blog Marketing, Blogging, Dark Side of SEO, Interviews, Marketing Industry News, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, Podcast Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing, SEO

Chris Pirillo and Jake hit up Search Engine Strategies New York and did a number of interviews which you can hear at his SES 2006 Archive page. Interviewees include:

  • Copernic on Desktop Search
  • David Sifry on Technorati and Entreprenuership
  • Lee Odden on Blogs and Search Marketing (More “umms” and “ahhs” than you’ve ever heard in one conversation!”
  • Jay Budzik of Intellext on Watson Contextual Search
  • Jim Lanzone of Ask.com on Search
  • Joshua Stylman and Peter Hershberg of Reprise Media on Contextual Advertising
  • Danny Sullivan on SES, Tags and Googlefasting
  • Meet Joe Spammer – Confessions of a Search Marketer
  • Matt Cutts of Google on Search Engine Spam

Some good stuff in there, check it out.

Lee Odden

Barry Diller Keynote at SES NY 2006

Lee Odden on Mar 3rd, 2006     Ask, Marketing Industry News, Marketing PR Conferences, Search Engine Strategies

Barry Diller Danny Sullivan
Photo Credit Jim Boykin

Keynote presentation at Search Engine Strategies New York with Danny Sullivan and Barry Diller of IAC. Diller’s company acquired Ask Jeeves in 2005, now rebranded as Ask.com.

Diller: I have always liked Ask.com. I just felt they needed to drop the Butler (drop baggage). The butler limited the opportunity for Ask.com as a mass market player in search. He does not intend to change the “Ask” brand.

If it’s like everyone else, it doesn’t have a reason for being. Like when he started Fox, Diller didn’t want to make another of the same big networks. He Wanted to make something different.

Ask is differentiated by the way it works from the other engines. Market share doesn’t matter, relevancy does. Diller invites people to try Ask.com and see for themselves.

Lee Odden

Ask.com Code Red Stormtroopers

Lee Odden on Feb 28th, 2006     Ask, Marketing Industry News, Marketing PR Conferences, Search Engine Strategies

storm trooper

Last night the Ask.com party named Code Red was full of interesting people and a few stormtroopers here and there. Lots of LOUD music and celebration of Ask.com and the retirement of the butler as well. I didn’t get a shot of it, but they had the Ask butler displayed as if frozen in a big hunk of metal, ala Han Solo in Star Wars. There’s a photo of that on Names@Work blog.
I’ve never seen so many red wigs in one place. But then again, the party was themed “Code Red”. Nice job to Ask.com and their PR team

I’d like to say thank you to the people who have somehow recognized me and came up to say hi. It’s great to meet people in person and to get feedback. Jim has some good thoughts about the fun of networking at SES events.

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