Request a Quotation
 

Fast Search and Transfer of Norway has won a very large contract from AOL to develop a search platform based on its FAST enterprise search technology across various applications in the AOL network.

Owned by media giant Time Warner, AOL has spent the last year trying to re-enter the search engine market as a relevant player. Coupled with this announcement, AOL also entered into an agreement with Pure Networks to develop home networking tools for AOL subscribers with broadband access.

In an interview with WebProNews, AOL Executive Director of Digital Services, David Park said, “Making the AOL service go to work for our members no matter how they access it is pivotal and we chose to work with Pure Networks because we share a common vision of making the AOL ‘digital home’ easy-to-use and manage. Even with home networking on the rise, the technology can be complex and difficult to manage. With AOL Network Magic, we will deliver a product that is simple, intuitive and helps maximize the value of a home network.”

As more information and entertainment options move to the digital world, home networking is going to be one of the major trends in the coming years.

Gravatar
Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

2005 Predictions – Watershed Ground

Three weeks ago we promised our predictions for the coming year. Here they are. Please remember, we are techno-geeks, not psychics. Some of these predictions may come true and some may be way off base. We do know the search industry is evolving faster than ever before. What seems fantasy today may well be reality next month. 2004 was an interesting year in the business of search, setting the stage for what should be a watershed year in 2005. Read more…

Innovation in the world of search seems to come in waves with the major search engine firms appearing to follow each other’s lead in the development of new products, tools and services. Witness today’s introduction of a desktop search/toolbar by MSN. Search engines are standardizing their services around the basic business model of contextual ad delivery and introducing new products and features designed to win the loyalty of new users and retain the loyalty of old ones. The past year has been one of the most expansive and interesting in the world of search since day one. Two major trends, personalization and localization, combined with the competitive necessity to gain users and advertisers provided the foundation for development of desktop search applications and the immense number of toolbars available now. The goal of all major search firms is to offer results that are relevant to an individual searchers’ profile in the least steps possible. User adoption of toolbars and desktop search are major steps in accomplishing that goal. Read more…

Every few months it is a good idea to review SEO techniques in light of changes in the ranking algorithms used by the major search engines. As of today, there are only two major organic search tools we worry about, Google, and Yahoo. Both of these search tools look at different elements of your website when considering where to rank the site in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). While considered one of the “Big Three”, MSN continues to receive results from the Yahoo/Inktomi database with LookSmart listings being displayed from time to time. MSN is likely to release its own algorithmic search engine in the coming months. What works for Yahoo tends to work with MSN. Please note, these basic rules for rankings may change at any given moment. That’s one of the things that make this job so much fun… Read more…

A study of search engines and search engine user habits found that in almost every instance, the results found at each of the five search engines studied were relativity similar to each other. The study was recently conducted by San Mateo market research firm Vividence and consisted of searches conducted by general search users on Google, Yahoo, MSN, Lycos and Ask Jeeves. Asked to find the answers to a series of questions designed to show how each engine performed and which engine produced the greatest user satisfaction, participants found the correct answer on one engine as frequently as they did on the others.

On the performance test, each engine fared equally well. On the user satisfaction test however, Google emerged as the clear winner with an overall customer satisfaction rating of 68% compared to 59 percent for Yahoo, 56 percent for Ask Jeeves, 53 percent for MSN and 48 percent for Lycos. According to the study, Google ranked high in user satisfaction for three main reasons, its strong brand name, the site’s uncluttered appearance, and the fact that paid advertising is clearly marked.

This is becoming awfully familiar; once again AskJeeves has shown itself to be in a very reliable and powerful financial position! Thanks to the latest IPO rumors at Google, AskJeeves stock actually doubled since the first of March. The reason? Approximately 70% of AskJeeves profits come from Google via sponsored (adwords) listings showing up in various AskJeeves properties. With Google showing so much potential in the coming IPO, investors are betting that AskJeeves will reap the rewards of higher sponsorship payout’s.

Although not without risks, this position is a beautiful one where AskJeeves can selectively compete with Google (via their own algorithmic spider) while reaping the rewards of its competitor’s growth.

Gravatar
Friday, March 12th, 2004

AskJeeves Gets Some Muscle

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. Read more…

Search provider Ask Jeeves announced today its plans to acquire Interactive Search Holdings, one of the largest privately owned online media and search companies, in a $343 million deal that is part of the company’s efforts to strengthen its grasp on the steadily growing search market.

Last December, comScore Media Metrix reported that Interactive Search Holdings was the ninth most visited United States property on the Internet. The company was launched in 1999 and is commonly known as “the Excite Network.”

Ask Jeeves will double in size with this acquisition, which includes web properties such as the search engine Excite.com and iWon, among others. This news comes after the announcement that Ask Jeeves will drop its paid inclusion program.

“The acquisition of Interactive Search Holdings will be an important step in Ask Jeeves’ growth strategy,” said Ask Jeeves CEO Steve Berkowitz. “This acquisition will enable us to combine Ask Jeeves’ proven strengths in user experience, search technology and brand development with Interactive Search Holdings’ strengths in distribution and direct marketing. By leveraging these two complementary approaches to search, we expect to accelerate Ask Jeeves’ market share gains in 2004 and beyond.”

Right now AskJeeves has a search engine that, in my opinion, is truly impressive. The natural language processing and wealth of quality information in their database has become so good that searching by query actually provides relevant results 90% of the time! This is a vast improvement over the original natural language system that Ask had in place just a year ago. When asked what made AskJeeves so different from its competitors, Jim answered decisively that it was Ask’s search technology that put it in a category all of its own. Why the technology? Read more…

It appears that Yahoo!’s bold and less than brilliant foray into ” Looksmart-like ” paid inclusion may have been the final nudge that AskJeeves needed to shut down their paid inclusion program, Index Express (not Index Connect which is Inktomi). This significant shift of AskJeeves away from their 18 month-old paid inclusion program appears to be a timely distancing from the pending storm coming to Yahoo! after it announced its new Site Match system. Read more…