Google Blogoscoped

Monday, March 21, 2005

IAC buys Ask

Another “it’s official" for today: InterActiveCorp announced they bought Ask Jeeves for $1.85 billion. CEO Barry Diller says:

“Ask Jeeves was founded almost ten years ago based on the idea that simple text search results alone are not sufficient or satisfying – but, rather, that consumers want answers to questions – and questions posed in natural language and answered with spot-on accuracy were especially desired and appealing.”

It should be noted that until today, Ask’s idea to answer natural language questions hasn’t evolved much past the initial will to tackle this (and use it as good marketing instrument, of course). Some questions give results – try “When was Albert Einstein born?” – while others, similar to Google et al, only list search results. It’s telling that over at Slashdot, someone asks (case adjusted):

OAB_X: [Does anyone ever really] use Ask Jeeves? I mean, I used it once or twice several years ago, but is it really that popular to be bought for 2 billion? I [can’t] think of anyone who uses it consistently, or even rarely.

REBloomfield: All the non-technical staff here do, they seem to think that you can just ask it anything and it knows the answer. I’ve seen some really bad full sentence queries get put into it...”


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!