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A busy 24 hours at IAC (NSDQ: IACI) … we wrote earlier about the pending soft launch of Tina Brown’s The Daily Beast and now yet another update from search engine Ask.com, going live now with its “next generation.” Goals include reducing searches to one click and providing direct answers on the results page in high-volume categories. The changes follow a shift in strategy announced last spring to focus less on the whiz-bang kind of services that might impress “the digerati” and more on practical results.
Ask says it has improved site download speeds by 30 percent compared to the same time last year. It ranked a distant fourth in the *comScore* U.S. search engine rankings with 4.8 percent in August 2008 but showed improvement in core search rankings and was up 7 percent in the number of searches, compared with drops for *Yahoo* and *Microsoft*. Among the changes:
— Ask “now ranks and integrates content from a broader and more comprehensive set of content types