Feeds

Ask.com rolls out new algorithms, skins

Four per cent of all Web searchers take notice

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Take that, Google. On Tuesday, Ask.com unveiled a revamped version of its online search engine, the web’s fourth most popular behind Google, Yahoo!, and MSN/Live.com.

Dubbed Ask3D, the new Ask.com offers a fresh interface and an underlying search technology designed to give users quicker access to the data they’re looking for.

The new Ask.com home page, complete with customized background.

The new Ask.com home page, without a customized background image (Click to enlarge)

"Ask3D reduces the amount of hunting and pecking it takes for people to find what they need," said a statement from Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone. "We do this by delivering the right information, from the deepest range of content, all on one clean and simple page."

Using a new ranking algorithm, which the company likes to call ExpertRank, Ask.com now sorts its core search results according to the makeup of particular "expert communities" it identifies across the Web.

"Over time, we can recognize that there are, say, 200 expert sites focused on cricket," says Michael Ferguson, senior user experience analyst at Ask.com. "And we know that most of the good cricket results should come from those 200 sites.”

At the same time, a second algorithm, dubbed Morph, augments those core results with images, Wikipedia entries, videos, and other related content, posting the late to a single results page.

"Rather than just providing links and sending you off to other things, we want to actually bring content to the results page and help you better understand a topic," continues Ferguson. "And for different searches, you’ll get different content. A search for a particular politician might give you news stories and blog posts, while a search for musician might be include music and performance schedules."

The new Ask.com results page, where all sorts of additional content is posted alongside core search results.

The new Ask.com.results page (Click to enlarge)

From this multifaceted results page, users can listen to music clips and preview video files. They can expand image thumbnails with a mouse-over. Or they can refine searches, instantly narrowing parameters, expanding them, or switching to related topics.

Ask.com has also revamped its home page, adjusting the look and feel and giving users the power to customize the page's background. Today, they can choose from eleven different "skins," but later this summer, users will also have the power to upload their own background images.

According to the latest figures from Hitwise.com, based on the behavior of 10 million US Internet users over the month ending May 26, Ask.com accounts for 3.92 per cent of all Web searches. Google tops the market at 65.13 per cent, followed by Yahoo! at 20.89 per cent. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.