I'm a big fan of Ask.com. They're sort of like the little engine that could. I like what they stand for, I love their people and I really want to see them succeed. At the same time, I sometimes find myself worrying that they may be headed for a crash. If the new search market share data released by Nielsen//NetRatings is any indicator, they're leaning more toward the "going down in flames" side of things than the "on fire" side of things right now.
While it's no surprise that the latest Nielsen//NetRatings shows Google and Yahoo continuing to lead the pack at 55.2% and 21.9% of search share respectively, it's the Ask data that had me a little surprised. After having year over year growth every single month so far this year, Ask had a slow month and actually lost ground over their search volume from the same month last year.
It's a frustrating journey to watch as it seems that every time they do something great, they follow up with something that makes me cringe. Earlier this year they scored humor points with a Google pen joke, but their follow-up went too far. Earlier this year they stormed the gates of local search with the very impressive Ask City product. Then they followed that up with the cringe worthy "information revolution" viral flop.
So is Ask flaming hot, or a going down in flames? I guess it depends on the day.
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