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February 27, 2006

AskJeeves dumps the “fat butler”


Shelley Solheim at InfoWorld:

Search engine AskJeeves.com has rebranded itself as Ask.com, ditched its namesake butler icon and added several new search tools in an effort to woo more users, Barry Diller, chairman and chief executive officer of Ask Jeeves’ parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp announced Monday.

“It needed not be any radical change, we just needed to drop some baggage,” Diller said in his keynote address Monday at the Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo in New York.

In addition to losing what Diller referred to as the “fat butler,” Ask.com streamlined its Web site with a new “non-cluttered” look and added a right-hand sidebar for searching different sources — such as images, weather, dictionaries, and local sources — that Ask.com officials say enables “search on speed dial.”

That seems a little harsh – Jeeves was about the only reason to head over to AskJeeves, although admittedly not a big reason for me or most others:

According to the latest data compiled by comScore Networks, Ask Jeeves only gets about 6.5 percent of total search queries. Google was the most used search engine in the U.S. in November, followed by Yahoo, Microsoft’s MSN and America Online.

We’ll see if dumping the “fat butler” makes any difference, but I expect it’s one more descent on the downward spiral for Ask.com.


Posted at 4:29 pm. Filed under Internet, Internet Search

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