Ashley Zeckman

Innovative Search Features Drive Engagement – Paul Vallez #OMS12

"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.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Search Engines Bringing Back Variables In URLs – At Your Expense

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.

TopRank Marketing Editor

SES Keynote: Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone

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

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

Ask.com Launches Version 2.0 of Sponsored Listings

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”

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

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

Barry Diller Keynote at SES NY 2006


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

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 [email protected] 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.

Lee Odden

Ask Sans Butler

IAC’s Ask.com has launched the new, clean version of their site sans butler today. New features include:

  • A new homepage design
  • The Ask.com Toolbox, a new feature on the homepage that provides shortcuts to more than 20 search tools
  • New and improved Maps and Driving Directions
  • Encyclopedia search
  • Web-based Desktop search

The “edit tools” feature is pretty slick actually.

Requisite press release quote:

“Today’s launch is a pivotal moment in our history, ensuring a well-known and much-loved search engine continues at the forefront of the evolution of the Internet search market,” concluded Lanzone. “With the new Ask.com, coupled with the backing of our parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp, we have developed a platform for the future of search where new search tools and content will be increasingly integrated within the search engine to meet consumer demand.”