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April 6, 2007

Ask.com at SES New York 2007

2007 Incisive Interactive
Marketing LLC

Going to New
for the quarterly Search
Engine Strategies 2007 Conference & Expo
? If you’re looking for the
Ask.com presence at SES, you’ll find it pretty much all over–we’re huge fans
of this conference and regular sponsors.
Visit our booth (#2015 in Americas Hall II) and stop by the following panels:

Wednesday, April 11

10:30am – 12:00pm
Sitemaps & URL Submission
Vivek Pathak, Infrastructure Product Manager, Ask.com

1:30am – 2:45pm
Meet The Search Ad Networks
James Speer, GM Search Marketing, IAC Advertising Solutions

1:30am – 2:45pm
Duplicate Content & Multiple Site Issues
Vivek Pathak, Infrastructure Product Manager, Ask.com

4:45pm – 6:00pm
Robots.txt Summit
Keith Hogan, VP Search Technology, Ask.com

Thursday, April 12

9:00am – 10:15am
Social Search Overview
Kaushal Kurapati, Director, Search Quality, Ask.com

If you’re going, you might want to bring a rain
. And toss one back at the Russian
Vodka Room
for us.

–The Ask.com Team


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April 3, 2007

Taxes, SES and Starlets: April Smart Answers

Lots going on this month on the Smart Answers front, so let’s get right to


Recently Added Smart Answers:

– Search Engine Strategies 2007. Familiar with this
important search industry gathering
? The next one is April 10-13 in New
York City.
– Taxes. They’re due April 17th this year, you know. We have Smart Answers
for both the Federal
and State levels,
fully updated with the latest info.
NCAA Basketball Tournament history. Whether it’s the madness from last
twenty years ago
, now you can credit Smart Answers with the assist.


Smart Answers for Important April Dates:

April Fool’s Day
. Also Lon
‘s Birthday.
4/2. Marvin
‘s Birthday.
4/3: First Day of Passover.
4/4: Hank
ties Babe
‘s home-run record, 1974.
4/6: Good
4/7: Francis
Ford Coppola
‘s birthday. Also Billie
and John
4/8: Easter Sunday.

4/9: Hugh
‘s Birthday.
4/14: The
hits an iceberg.
4/15: The first McDonalds
4/18: The great San
Francisco earthquake of 1906
4/22: Earth
. Fun fact: Earth Day was founded by Senator Gaylord
4/23: Yom
, a.k.a. Israel’s Independence Day.
  4/25: Administrative
Professionals Day
. Call them "secretaries" and you’re in for a
world of lost mail.
4/27: A special long-distance Arbor
dedication to birthday boy Casey
4/28: Birthdays for Jessica Alba, Penelope
, Ann-Margret
and Kari
. We should just make it "National Starlets Day."
4/29: Birthdays for Tommy
, Michelle
, and Jerry


See you next month!

–The Ask.com Smart Answers Team

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April 1, 2007

Jim Lanzone Video Announcement

Sorry for the Sunday posting, folks, but we wanted to announce before the press
got wind of it.

We’ve had a company-changing development happen over the last few days, and
we’re finally at a point where we can tell you about it. For the details, check
out this video
from Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone.

–The Ask.com Team

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March 23, 2007

The Local Authorities: Drilling Down 2007

If you’re involved in local search, chances are you know about
the Kelsey
Group’s Drilling Down conference
. This year’s activities included a
couple of Ask.com appearances, a keynote speech from IAC‘s
and a panel discussion featuring AskCity‘s
Ryan Massie.

Copyright© 2007 The Kelsey Group.
Plus, between panels we hijacked a vendor’s display equipment
to do a quick AskCity demo and impressed the heck out of them. All in all,
a strong Ask.com showing this year.


Peter used his keynote speech to offer the big-picture take on local
search and how AskCity exemplifies that. A pair of highlights:

1. The first decade of local content was about brand; the next decade
will be about relevance.
Live in San Jose? Look to the SJ
Mercury News
site. Live in Los Angeles? Try the LA
. No more. Now, users are looking beyond brands for quality content–no
matter where it comes from.

2. Local content exists between two extremes:

– Broad subject matter relevant to a large audience (e.g. a trend piece
from The New York Times or local

– Narrow subject matter relevant to specific needs (e.g. local
, user reviews, "where can I find a dry cleaner open Sundays?"

Peter finished up with a quick presentation of AskCity, showing
how it leverages top online brands and deep content sources like Citysearch
and recent acquisition InsiderPages
to create relevant local search.



(Panel included Ryan Massie, Ask.com Director of Product Management,
Vertical Products)

Ryan stood out in his panel (among reps from Judy’s
, The Bakersfield Californian,
Outside.In, and local data vendor Urban
) largely by being the only search-driven site on the panel.
And while there was no agreed-upon definition of what "Hyperlocal"
meant (Facilitator Peter Krasilovsky
dismissed the term with a "we all know what we’re talking about,
right?"), most of the panelists had the same measurement for success:
ad sales. Ryan countered that AskCity’s yardstick is quite different.

"When someone comes to that search box," He explained, "and
we give them exactly what we want–the right result, the right content,
take them to the right page–they’re going to come back. That’s success."
He explained. "Or to take action on AskCity–to book (a dinner reservation)
on OpenTable, and then to come back
again–that’s success too." He also mentioned that AskCity had no
specific plans to include ads, but didn’t rule it out.


–The Ask City Team

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March 19, 2007

Spring Break Search Gone Wild!

Odds are if you’re reading this blog, your spring break plans involve hot coffee
and 8AM traffic. But on Ask.com Web Search,
we’re clocking Spring
queries like crazy.

We can still remember back when Spring Break meant something. That’s why, for
our curiosity and your edification, we’ve taken a couple of data cuts from the
weeks just before. It’s an interesting portrait of what Spring Break’s about:

Spring Break: Top Searches

More people searched on "When is Spring Break?" than the next twenty
queries put together. But once searchers got past that–or remembered that they
owned calendars–the breakdown was a pretty accurate reflection of what most
of us think of when we think of Spring Break:

Spring Break: Top 10 Destination Searches

With 28% of all queries, Panama
City, FL
wins by a landslide. Even the Travel


Spring Break: Top 10 Places People are Searching From

Cities are numbered according to amount of queries.

Here’s where things got really interesting. To wit:

(1) A surprising amount of people are searching from warmer climates like Orlando
and Atlanta.
Maybe that whole getting-out-of-the-cold theme we learned from The
Sure Thing
isn’t as prevalent as we thought.

(2) Where are the Northwest and Midwest in all this? Chicago
is the only midwestern city in the top 10 , with Chicago suburb Des
coming in at #13 and Minneapolis
at #17. Maybe they’re all staying home and sledding.

(3) Louisville
at #1?

So whether you’re heading out for Spring Break, dreaming about it at your desk,
or still sleeping off last Monday’s Lil’
Jon concert
on the Boardwalk, here’s to a great Spring.

–The Ask.com Team

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March 7, 2007

The New Shape of Local Search

What, you think we’d launch an incomparable, doors-blowing product like AskCity and just
leave it out there? We’ve been whipping up a fresh batch of upgrades, and are ready to announce the latest: search-enabled drawing tools.

If you’ve used AskCity already (or read our launch
), you know that it incorporates a drawing palette.

You can mark up any map with lines, circles, polygons, etc. and send the marked-up
map to friends.

But now, you can use those drawing tools to focus your search on a specific area.
Just draw your shape around the area you want to search and click on the magnifying
glass to open a search window.

The square, circle and polygon tools let you create the shape you’ll search

The line tool lets you search a single street, no matter how long or short it is.

You can even use the shapes to outline several areas, and do separate searches
on each. It’s a handy tool for searching when you know what area you’re looking
in, but don’t know the name of what you’re looking for.


Circling the Perfect Bean

Say a friend tells you about a great but hard-to-find coffee place–but all
she remembers is that it’s at the intersection of Gough & Fell Streets.
So you circle the intersection and search it:

AskCity returns two options within the area you’ve circled…

…and by using AskCity’s close-up and aerial photo functions, you see that
one option is right on Gough Street…and the other is on Linden, a tiny
side-street just off the intersection. Hard to find? Not anymore.

We search-enabled the AskCity drawing tools to make your local searches quicker,
more accurate, and in a lot of cases, easier. Give
it a try
and let us know what you think!

–The AskCity Team

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March 2, 2007

Catch the Earthquake Last Night?

We did. And we’ve got the data to prove

Our Ask Earthquake Search
product has been available for some time,
and we check it every time there’s a ‘quake nearby. After running for cover,
of course.

Last night’s 4.2 literally hit home. Here in the Bay Area, silverware rattled
and futons loosened at the joints. When we came in this morning, however, we
discovered the real damage:

We just got the thing, too! Damn these acts of nature!

–The Ask.com team

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