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|Key people||Garrett Gruener|
David Warthen (Founders)
Scott Garell (President, Ask Networks)
Doug Leeds (President, Ask US)
|Revenue||▲ $227 million|
Ask.com (or Ask Jeeves in the United Kingdom) is a search engine founded in 1996 by Garrett Gruener and David Warthen in Berkeley, California. The original search engine software was implemented by Gary Chevsky from his own design. Chevsky, Justin Grant, and others built the early AskJeeves.com website around that core engine. Three venture capital firms, Highland Capital Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, and The RODA Group were early investors. Ask.com is currently owned by InterActiveCorp under the NASDAQ symbol IACI.
Ask.com was originally known as Ask Jeeves, where "Jeeves" is the name of the "gentleman's personal gentleman", or valet, fetching answers to any question asked. The character was based on Jeeves, Bertie Wooster's fictional valet from the works of P. G. Wodehouse.
The original idea behind Ask Jeeves was to allow users to get answers to questions posed in everyday, natural language, as well as traditional keyword searching. The current Ask.com still supports this, with added support for math, dictionary, and conversion questions.
In 2005, the company announced plans to phase out Jeeves. On February 27, 2006, the character disappeared from Ask.com, and was stated to be "going in to retirement." The website prominently brought the character back in 2009.
InterActiveCorp owns a variety of sites including country-specific sites for UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, and Spain along with Ask Kids, Teoma (now ExpertRank) and several others (see this page for a complete list). On June 5, 2007 Ask.com relaunched with a 3D look.
On May 16, 2006, Ask implemented a "Binoculars Site Preview" into its search results. On search results pages, the "Binoculars" let searchers capture a sneak peak of the page they could visit with a mouse-over activating screenshot pop-up.
In December 2007, Ask released the AskEraser feature, allowing users to opt-out from tracking of search queries and IP and cookie values. They also vowed to erase this data after 18 months if the AskEraser option is not set. The Center for Democracy and Technology's positive evaluation of AskEraser differed from that of privacy groups including the Electronic Privacy Information Center who found problems such as the requirement that HTTP cookies be enabled for AskEraser to function.
On April 20, 2009, the "Jeeves" character re-appeared on ask.com, standing on the left side of the page. His name, however, is still not mentioned. ask.co.uk still calls itself "Ask Jeeves", featuring the same character.
The company uses different websites offering localized services for certain countries and its associated languages, including:
- fr.ask.com (France)
- uk.ask.com (Ask Jeeves) (United Kingdom)
- de.ask.com (Germany)
- es.ask.com (Spain)
- it.ask.com (Italy)
Ask Jeeves, Inc. stock traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange from July 1999 to July 2005, under the ticker symbol ASKJ. In July 2005, the ASKJ ticker was retired upon the acquisition by InterActiveCorp, valuing ASKJ at $1.85 billion.
Ask Sponsored Listings
Ask Sponsored Listings is the search engine marketing tool offered to advertisers to increase the visibility of their websites (and subsequent businesses, services, and products) by producing more prominent and frequent search engine listing results.
Marketing and promotion
In early 2007, a number of advertisements appeared on London Underground trains warning commuters that 75% of all the information on the web flowed through one site (implied to be Google), with a URL for www.information-revolution.org.
Apostolos Gerasoulis, the co-creator of Ask's Teoma algorithmic search technology, starred in four television advertisements in 2007, extolling the virtues of Ask.com's usefulness for information relevance. There was a Jeeves balloon in the 2001 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
On January 14, 2009, Ask.com became the official sponsor of NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte's #96 car. Ask would become the official search engine of NASCAR. Ask.com will be the primary sponsor for the No. 96 for 18 of the first 21 races and has rights to increase this to a total of 29 races this season. The Ask.com car debuted in the 2009 Bud Shootout where it failed to finish the race but subsequently has come back strong placing as high as 5th in the March 1st, 2009 Shelby 427 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ask.com's foray into NASCAR is the first instance of its venture into what it calls Super Verticals.
Features include the web, image, news, dictionary searches, the ability to save and share web pages and images through MyStuff, personalizable news feeds ranging from local to international, weather forecasts, stock portfolios, maps, and related services.
The Ask.com toolbar can be installed from the toolbar.ask.com website. Some other programs can also install the toolbar. The user can uncheck a box during the installation of the original program if the user does not want the toolbar installed.
The Ask toolbar can be uninstalled from Internet Explorer through the Windows control panel, and from Firefox through the Add-ons menu. Software which changes the browser behaviour may still remain on the computer after the uninstall of the toolbar, requiring further uninstalls or file deletions. The Ask.com toolbar is incompatible with Kaspersky Internet Security; presence of the toolbar causes license key corruption.
- ↑ "ask.com - Traffic Details from Alexa". Alexa Internet, Inc. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/ask.com. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- ↑ Ask Jeeves, Inc. initial public offering prospectus
- ↑ Ask.com Search Technology. Retrieved on May 11, 2009.
- ↑ Major Relaunch For Ask: Ask3D, Techcrunch, 2007-06-04. Retrieved on June 5, 2007
- ↑ United States Patent Database, US Patents, 2006-06-16. Retrieved on May 16, 2006
- ↑ Ask.com Takes the Lead on Log Retention; Microsoft and Yahoo! Follow, eff.org, Retrieved on 2008-01-03
- ↑ "Letter to U.S. Federal Trade Commission" (PDF). Center for Democracy and Technology. January 23, 2008. http://www.cdt.org/privacy/20080123_FTC_Ask.pdf. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- ↑ "Does AskEraser Really Erase?". Electronic Privacy Information Center. http://epic.org/privacy/ask/default.html. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- ↑ "Ask.com closes acquisition of Dictionary.com". Reuters. 3 July 2008. http://www.reuters.com/article/internetNews/idUSN0337985120080703?feedType=RSS&feedName=internetNews.
- ↑ "Ask.com closes Dictionary.com deal". CNet. 4 July 2008. http://news.cnet.com/8300-10784_3-7-0.html?keyword=Dictionary.com.
- ↑ http://web.archive.org/web/20070313223519/http://information-revolution.org/ - Information Revolution
- ↑ "About Ask.com: TV Spots". http://about.ask.com/docs/about/televisionads.shtml. Retrieved 2007-04-25.
- ↑ http://www.nascar.com/2009/news/headlines/cup/01/14/ask.com.partnerships/index.html
- ↑ http://bbs.cid.cn.nascar.com/2009/news/headlines/cup/01/13/blabonte.hof.racing/index.html
- ↑ http://www.ask.com/nascar/2009-Shelby-427-race#results
- ↑ http://searchengineland.com/askcom-partners-with-nascar-says-super-vertical-will-put-it-back-in-search-race-16143
- ↑ http://kb.mozillazine.org/Problematic_extensions
- ↑ http://support.kaspersky.com/faq/?qid=208280158