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What Happened to ASK 3-D?
Monday, October 06, 2008
So this morning ASK changed their Search Engine Results Page from the cool ASK 3-D experience to a more simplified Google-like appearance. What gives? Where has the innovation gone? OK I understand the need for more relevant results, but the drastic changes to the SERP? ASK had the the best SERP in the business and now it is just plain boring.

ASK is trying to streamline the Search process. You can now search for things like local TV schedules, concert and event info, health inquiries, jobs, and generic reference-type questions and get your answer at the top of the result listings without ever having to click into a site. Depending on the type of query that you perform, you may be presented with the information that you were looking for without ever clicking through to a site.

A search for "Las Vegas" returns 9 sponsored results, four up top and 5 below. Yup I'm pretty sure that's what users wanted to see. In all fairness, near the top of the page, users also have the option of searching for maps of Las Vegas, jobs, current weather, local time, local results through ASK City, facts, school information etc. In terms of blended results, you will see news results near the top of the organic results (this is similar to what Google does), some TV listings and ticketmaster (another IACI company) event listings. There is also a wikipedia listing with a thumbnail of the LAs Vegas Strip listed. More text... hmm is that going to improve user engagement with their search engine? There is a new ASK Q&A section which is in beta to provide semantic answers to questions about your query.

While some efforts were made to improve the relevancy, I must say that I am extremely disappointed in their attempts to make their results page similar to a Google SERP. They had an innovative SERP experience. They needed to improve relevancy, not both.

Related Stories:

ASK Testing New Interface - Search with ASK X

ASK.com The Second Coming of Search Means Personalization

ASK Morphs Into the Future

ASK X – Prelude to Personalized Search?

ASK X Leading the Way with User Experience


posted by Jody @ Monday, October 06, 2008  
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