Blog Post

Ask Is More Sophisticated But Is That Enough?

How many times can the same search site be transformed? To borrow a punchline, until they get it right. (No, this isn’t about Lycos.) Such is the case with Ask, a company that found a new owner, jettisoned the butler and rebranded with a splashy campaign. But USAT’s Kevin Maney argues that the real transformation has been on the inside as Ask switched search technologies, opting for an engine built on Teoma — a company acquired foir $4.4 million in 2001. The technology developed at Rutgers by Apostolos Gerasoulis, a professor known as AG, and his colleagues; it is built on the idea grouping sites by concept, then popularity and aiming for 95 percent accuracy produces fast, good results.At the end of the day, though, no matter how good the search tehcnology, with just 6 percent of the market, Ask is still many fries short of a search happy meal. We have it all in the archives.