Ask Jeeves sold
The internet search engine Ask Jeeves was launched in 1996 and has a unique algorithm to deliver organic result from a single question as query. Until now Ask Jeeves was mainly based on Teoma technology and was claiming up to 40 million of monthly queries. A traffic that the New York Base internet conglomerat InteractiveCorp purchased $1.85 billion last week.
The buyer’s name may not sound familiar but InterActiveCorp (IAC) is the Owner of Expedia Moniker a holding of famous travel related websites such as Expedia, Match or Hotwire.
Even though the search engine was relatively popular amongs the internet community, AskJ ranks number five in terms of traffic, it was pretty limited to expand with $260 million in revenue for 2004 fiscal year. CEO Steve Berkowitz announced his 500 employees that the company will scale its investments in technology, marketing and international expansion to aggresively pursue market share.
The traffic generated by AskJeeves is usually not worth a specific optimization. The SEO world will usually target the three giants “lead generators” Google, Yahoo and MSN. However with some technology innovation and moving more agressively on this market AskJ could grab a bite of what is left by the others. Ask Jeeves is also likely to to continue expanding towards europe according to the Irish’s Sunday Business Post , the old continent has even more market growth to offer. The company already hosts its european servers and team in central Dublin’s HQ.
The Ask Jeeves editorial team, which is responsible for its European search engine content, is based in central Dublin and it also hosts its European computer servers and internet operations here.
The real question is probably why the IAC decided of this move. Some may probablhy think that it is not a long term investment. A first case would be that Google, Yahoo or MSN would be interested in increasing their market share by purchasing Ask Jeeves. Observers are mostly speculating on MSN and Google but Ask’s sponsored results are served by Yahoo’s Overture which could be an advantage in early negociations.
Whatever the case search engine optimization companies are closely looking at those market changes as much as they are watching algorithm changes, they directly influence their clients organic results.