What Happened to Ask.com?

Ask.com tried to regain lost ground several years ago with the advent of “The Algorithm.” All search engines use some sort of algorithm to deliver the search results users see, and Ask hoped that theirs would help to escalate them to, at the very least, Google’s level. At the time, businesses kept an eye on it as a measure of “just in case.”

Whether or not it made it to Google’s level, it never hurts to have your page appear high in the rankings on any search engine. But since then, Ask.com has slipped back down to the floor. Should you even bother with it anymore?

The Ask Dilemma

Google is continuously coming out with new ideas, from Google Caffeine to Google Buzz. Ask has since been in search engine limbo. Barry Diller, the CEO of IAC who owns Ask.com stated in October of 2009 that he was willing to put Ask.com up for sale. However, in December of the same year, he appeared less than sure about that decision.

The Real Result of Search Engine Failures

There are now fewer and fewer search engines which have any real effect on businesses. On one hand, it means there are fewer of them to deal with in attempts at getting your webpage to the forefront. Yet at the same time, it means that everyone must deal with just a few search engines, thus meaning that getting into the top 10, or even the top 100, may become rather difficult.

This is especially true when one looks at the improvements and slides in market shares. Yahoo has consistently slipped from 20.1% in May down to 17.5% in November. On the other hand, giants like Google and MSN’s Bing are on the rise. It may only be a matter of time before Ask.com is absorbed by an entity like AOL or, who knows, maybe even Google, and whether or not that’s good for businesses like yours remains to be seen.

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