Further to my AskJeeves Exclusive posted last week there have been some significant changes in the AskJeeves empire. For one thing it doubled in size on March 5th as it bought Interactive Search Holdings, a privately held company in Irvington N.Y. with over $100 million in annual revenues and 200 employees for between $362 million US. Interactive currently owns a family of popular web sites including Excite.com and iWon.com. As of this purchase, Ask owns the “12th-busiest group of Web sites in January, attracting a total of 23.8 million unique visitors, according to comScore Media Metrix, a research firm. AskJeeves ranked as the 26th popular destination with 15.6 million visitors.” (from CNews) With this purchase, AskJeeves has just increased its market share to approximately 7% of the search engine industry, a significant leap from the 3.1% that it had as of November 2003.
In my March 3rd interview with Jim Lanzone, VP of product management at AskJeeves, Jim mentioned that AskJeeves “strategy is to grow” and that Ask plans on “going it alone” by focusing on “our technology, partnerships and user base.” I now have no doubt that he was inwardly chuckling as he told me that considering the momentous changes only days away. In any case, Ask is now in a better position to make some ripples in the Google/Yahoo ocean, it should be very interesting to see what happens next.