There's a new butler in town.
The new Jeeves is younger, slimmer and more fashionable. The changes are meant to reflect the changes made to the Teoma search technology to make it faster, more flexible and more technologically advanced. Ask Jeeves, Inc. claims that the changes to Teoma will improve relevance and the freshness of their index. The new index also boasts an index of some 2 billion English-language Web documents, up from a reported 1.5 billion just six months ago.
The redesign of Jeeves, the familiar butler mascot of the ask.com engine also demonstrates Ask's commitment to keeping up in the search engine wars. Scott Garrell, executive vice president and general manager of U.S. sites at Ask Jeeves, Inc. explains it this way: "Since he made his debut on Ask Jeeves in 1996, he has weathered the dot.com collapse and the rise of some pretty big players in the search space. While he is holding his own against Google and Yahoo, we thought we should get him into shape before MSN's butterfly climbs into the ring."
Launched this morning, the new Ask Jeeves feature several capabilities including MyJeeves, local search and an update to their Teoma search technology. The moves continue Ask.com's history of adding new features to make searching a more personalized experience for users. Earlier this year, Ask.com introduced "binculars," a feature that allows users to mouse over a listing and get a sneak peek of the site before clicking through to it.
According to a company press release, MyJeeves is designed to give searchers "the ability to save and manage search queries and results across the entire search experience." After conducting a search query on Ask.com, each search result will have a “save” button listed next to it. Clicking the button will allow users to store the search results in their MyJeeves database. Stored results can be categories into folders, annotated with comments, shared via e-mail, searched through or even printed. Although this feature doesn’t require that a user register with the engine, those who choose to register will be given additional storage space for their search results.
The MyJeeves archiving option moves a step closer toward the personalization goals that have been stated by most major engines. "MyJeeves saves time and minimizes frustration: It eliminates the need to repeat searches and allows users to easily find things again," said Daniel Read, vice president of product management at Ask Jeeves, Inc. "Every Ask Jeeves user can immediately take advantage of MyJeeves to begin creating their own Personal Web. Users do not need to pay a fee, install any software application, select settings and preferences, or register for anything."
Although some local search features were introduced earlier this summer and highlighted during a session at the August Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose, The company is reintroducing local search technology with a new marketing campaign. Ask.com's local search features integrated content from CitySearch along with maps, news and yellow page listings.
Ask Jeeves, Inc also announced plans for future updates to the Teoma engine. Teoma 3.0 is expected to include a variety of new features including page cache, related search and the addition of Flash and .PDF file types as new restricted search options. The company also stated that it expects to release a desktop search product during the fourth quarter.
September 21, 2004
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jenniferâ€™s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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