Search Engine Guide 4 – Ask

Search Engine Guide, Part 4 – Ask

Formerly known as Ask Jeeves, this search engine had a unique way of setting itself apart. The idea was to ‘Ask’ a question in the search box rather than just filling it in with keywords. It seemed to work fairly well, but never caught on fully with the public. Despite the friendly mascot, Jeeves the Butler, it always lagged behind Yahoo and then later Google.

Over the past 2 years, Ask Jeeves came under new leadership who started a transition away from the Jeeves character, moving toward what it is today, just ‘Ask’. Although some fans miss the butler, it was probably an overall good move. For Ask.com to start competing with the big boys, they needed to start looking like a real search engine. The lack of updating that Ask Jeeves did on their index didn’t help matters, either.

This writer can tell you from experience that sites listings were not updated for months, sometimes an entire year at a time. Very frustrating after you had worked so hard on adding new content and features. It annoyed searchers as well as they would click on a link looking for a specific topic and arrive at a dead link or a page that had long since been changed.

Today, though, Ask is making a comeback. Their new search tools are actually very good and, even better, actually intuitive. Searchers are coming back, but it is a slow process. Denting Google’s dominance has been very difficult, to say the least. Still, they do get a good amount of traffic and should be acknowledged in your search campaign.

How To Get Listed: Getting listed just got easier. Ask has adopted, along with Yahoo, Google & MSN the search engine sitemap standard. You can read about search engine sitemaps, and how to take advantage of them on my blog.

Factors for High Ranking: On-site factors are also important here. Keyword emphasis, relevant content, and regular updating should be the focus to improve your standing(s). Keep in mind that they don’t update often. Be patient.

Back to Search Engine Guide, Part 3 – MSN

The guide is updated periodically, so stay tuned. Contact us today for a consultation to get your business growing both online and off.

Article written by Jonathan Cook

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