Ask.com (originally known as Ask Jeeves) is a question
answering-focused e-business and web search engine founded in 1996 by
Garrett Gruener and
David Warthen in Berkeley, California.
The original software was implemented by
Gary Chevsky from his own
design. Warthen, Chevsky, Justin Grant, and others built the early
AskJeeves.com website around that core engine. In late 2010, facing
insurmountable competition from more popular search engines, the
company outsourced its web search technology and returned to its roots
as a question and answer site.
Douglas Leeds was elevated from
president to CEO in 2010.
Ask.com has been criticized for its browser toolbar, which has been
accused of behaving like malware due to its bundling with other
software and the difficulty of its uninstallation.
Three venture capital firms, Highland Capital Partners, Institutional
Venture Partners, and The RODA Group were early investors. Ask.com
is currently owned by InterActiveCorp (IAC) under the
Ask.com's corporate headquarters are located at 555 City Center, in
Oakland City Center
Oakland City Center development in downtown Oakland, California.
1.1 Search engine shut-down
1.2 Ask Sponsored Listings
2 Corporate details
3 Toolbar criticism
4 Marketing and promotion
6 External links
Jeeves appears when users go to uk.ask.com, As of
Ask.com was originally known as Ask Jeeves, "Jeeves" being the name of
a "gentleman's personal gentleman", or valet, fetching answers to any
question asked. The character was based on Bertie Wooster's valet
Jeeves, in the fictional works of P. G. Wodehouse.
The original idea behind Ask
Jeeves was to allow users to get answers
to questions posed in everyday, natural language, as well as by
traditional keyword searching. The current
Ask.com still supports
this, with support for math, dictionary, and conversion questions.
In 2005 the company announced plans to phase out
Jeeves and on
February 27, 2006, the character disappeared from Ask.com. He was
stated to be "going into retirement." However, the UK/Ireland edition
of the website prominently brought the character back in 2009.
IAC owns a variety of sites including country-specific sites for UK,
Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and Spain along with Ask Kids,
Teoma (now ExpertRank) and several others. On June 5, 2007, Ask.com
relaunched with a 3D look.
On May 16, 2006, Ask implemented a "Binoculars Site Preview" into its
search results. On search results pages, the "Binoculars" let
searchers have a sneak peek of the page they could visit with a
mouse-over activating a pop-up screenshot.
In December 2007, Ask released the AskEraser feature, allowing
users to opt-out from tracking of search queries and IP and cookie
values. They also vowed to erase this data after 18 months if the
AskEraser option is not set.
HTTP cookies must be enabled for
AskEraser to function.
Ask.com search of.
On July 4, 2008, InterActiveCorp announced the acquisition of Lexico
Publishing Group, which owns Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com, and
On July 26, 2010,
Ask.com released a closed-beta Q&A service. The
service was released to the public on July 29, 2010. Ask.com
launched its mobile Q&A app for the iPhone in late 2010.
Ask.com now reaches 100 million global users per month through its
website with more than 2 million downloads of its flagship mobile
app. The company has also released additional apps spun out of its
Q&A experience, including Ask Around in 2011 and PollRoll
Search engine shut-down
Ask.com abandoned the search industry, with the loss of 130
search engineering jobs, because it could not compete against more
popular search engines such as Google. Earlier in the year, Ask had
launched a Q&A community for generating answers from real people
as opposed to search algorithms then combined this with its
question-and–answer repository, utilizing its extensive history of
archived query data to search sites that provide answers to questions
people have. To avoid a situation in which no answers were
available from its own resources, the company outsourced to an unnamed
third-party search provider the comprehensive web search matches that
it had gathered itself.
Ask Sponsored Listings
Formerly the direct sales engine for Ask.com, Ask Sponsored Listings
is no longer available, having merged with Sendori, an operating
business of IAC, in 2011.
Ask.com headquarters in Oakland, California
Ask Jeeves, Inc. stock traded on the
NASDAQ stock exchange from July
1999 to July 2005, under the ticker symbol ASKJ. In July 2005, the
ASKJ ticker was retired upon the acquisition by IAC, valuing at
Ask.com made two acquisitions as part of a larger strategy to
offer more content on the
Ask.com website. On July 2, 2012, Ask.com
purchased content discovery start-up nRelate, for an undisclosed
amount. That was followed by the company's acquisition of expert
advice and information site About.com, which closed in September
On August 14, 2014,
Ask.com acquired popular social networking website
ASKfm, where users can ask other users questions, with the option of
anonymity. As of August 14, 2014, Ask.fm had 180 million monthly
unique users in more than 150 countries around the world, with its
largest user base in the United States. Available on the web and
as a mobile app,
ASKfm generates an estimated 20,000 questions per
minute with approximately 45 percent of its mobile monthly active
users logging in daily. To date, the mobile app has been
downloaded more than 40 million times.
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The Ask browser toolbar is an extension that can appear as an extra
bar added to the browser's window and/or menu. In
early versions, it was often unintentionally installed during the
installation of partner software, including Oracle Java, i.e., taking
advantage of a user's lack of technical experience. As an
operating business of IAC, Ask Partner Network had also historically
entered into partnerships with some software security
vendors, whereby they distributed the toolbar
alongside their software. Installer packages for partner companies
had an option (opt-out) to install the Ask toolbar and/or change the
user's default browser home page to Ask.com.
Ask.com and its parent company IAC have therefore been criticized for
promoting a toolbar that behaves like malware—that it was
surreptitiously bundled with legitimate program installations, e.g.,
Oracle's Java, that it could not be easily removed from common
browsers once installed, that consumers installed the software
unwittingly, that the toolbar redefined the user's home page to
Ask.com, and that
Ask.com presented biased search results. As
early toolbar versions could not be easily removed using built-in
uninstall features, it was considered a "potentially unwanted
program". A further criticism was a ten-minute delay that was
built into the installation, between updating Java and appearance of
the Ask toolbar. The company defended these early business
decisions,[who?][where?] pointing out that instructions to remove the
toolbar could be found at the
As of June 2015,
Ask.com no longer bundles with Oracle's Java (which
now features a
Yahoo! toolbar). As of June 2015,
not consider the toolbar that is being provided by
Ask.com to be
unwanted software, but they state that older versions of the toolbar
pose "a high threat to your PC," and they provide tools for detecting
and removing them.[better source needed][original
Marketing and promotion
Apostolos Gerasoulis, the co-creator of Ask's
Teoma algorithmic search
technology, starred in four television advertisements in 2007,
extolling the virtues of Ask.com's usefulness for information
Jeeves balloon appeared in the Macy's Thanksgiving
Day Parade through 2000-2004.
After a hiatus from mass consumer marketing, Ask returned to TV
advertising in the fall of 2011 after refocusing its site on questions
and answers. Instead of national advertising, Ask focused on local
markets with basic creative. In the summer of 2012, Ask launched a
national cinema campaign, along with other out-of-home tactics in
certain markets such as New York and Seattle.
As part of a Seattle-based local market effort,
Ask.com launched its
“You Asked We Answered” campaign in 2012, in which the company
“answered” residents' top complaints about living in their city,
including easing morning commutes and stadium traffic, as well as
keeping the local Parks and Rec department wading pools open.
On January 14, 2009,
Ask.com became the official sponsor of 2000
Sprint Cup Series
Sprint Cup Series Champion Bobby Labonte's No. 96 Ford.
Ask would become the official search engine of NASCAR. Ask.com
will be the primary sponsor for the No. 96 for 18 of the first 21
races and has rights to increase this to a total of 29 races this
Ask.com car debuted in the 2009 Bud Shootout where it
failed to finish the race, but subsequently returned strongly, placing
as high as 5th in March 1, 2009
Shelby 427 race at Las Vegas Motor
Speedway. Ask.com's foray into
NASCAR represents the first
instance of its venture into what it calls "Super Verticals".
Ask.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
^ Kopytoff, Verne G. (November 9, 2010). "
Ask.com Giving Up Search to
Return to Q-and-A Service". The New York Times.
^ "IAC Management". IAC. Archived from the original on January 5,
^ "Ask Jeeves, Inc. initial public offering prospectus". Archived from
the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
Ask.com Search Technology. Retrieved May 11, 2009.
^ Major Relaunch For Ask: Ask3D, Techcrunch, June 4, 2007. Retrieved
June 5, 2007.
Ask.com Takes the Lead on Log Retention;
Microsoft and Yahoo!
Follow, eff.org. Retrieved January 3, 2008.
^ "Does AskEraser Really Erase?". Electronic Privacy Information
Center. Archived from the original on March 8, 2008. Retrieved March
^ "Letter to U.S. Federal Trade Commission" (PDF). Center for
Democracy and Technology. January 23, 2008. Retrieved March 10,
^ Auchard, Eric (July 3, 2008). "
Ask.com closes acquisition of
Dictionary.com deal". CNet. July 4, 2008.
Ask.com Q&A Service Drops July 29th". Softpedia. July 27,
^ Christian, Zibreg (September 24, 2010). "
Ask.com has an iPhone app
that lets you ask and get local answers". Geek.com.
^ Sterling, Greg. "Ask CEO Doug Leeds Proclaims Search Wars "Over,"
Says Yahoo Can Be Great Again". Search Engine Land. Retrieved October
^ Knight, Kristina. "How Tina Fey inspired
Ask.com to change".
BizReport. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
^ Perez, Marin. "Ask Around app brings location-based conversations to
iPhone". Into Mobile. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
^ Spirrison, Brad. "
Ask.com hits the polls with Pollroll".
Appolicious. Archived from the original on November 28, 2012.
Retrieved October 16, 2012.
^ Van Grove, Jennifer. "
Ask.com Reinvents Itself with a Focus on
Community Q&A". Mashable. Mashable. Retrieved August 27,
^ Kopytoff, Verne (November 9, 2010). "
Ask.com to Return to Old
Service". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved August 27,
^ "Ask Sponsored Listings is now Sedori". Sendori. Retrieved October
^ de Senerpont Domis, Olaf. "Q&A with Ask.com's CEO and nRelate's
Founder". The Deal Pipeline. Archived from the original on July 10,
2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
^ Stewart, Christopher. "Times Co. Sells About.com for $300 Million".
Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
^ Magid, Larry. "IAC's
Ask.com Buys Ask.fm And Hires A Safety Officer
To Stem Bullying". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
^ Curtis, Sophie. "Tinder owner buys social network ASKfm". The
Telegraph. The Telegraph. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
^ Sullivan, Laurie. "
Ask.com Acquires Q&A Social Network Ask.fm,
Prepares To Add Tools To Increase Safety". Media Post. Media Post.
Retrieved August 29, 2014.
^ a b Perez, Sarah. "IAC Agrees To Work With Regulators On
Cyberbullying Protections Following
ASKfm Deal". Techcrunch.
Techcrunch. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
^ a b Bott, Ed (January 22, 2013). "A Close Look at How Oracle
Installs Deceptive Software with Java Updates" (online). ZD Net. CBS
Interactive. Retrieved January 1, 2016. Oracle's Java plugin for
browsers is a notoriously insecure product. Over the past 18 months,
the company has released 11 updates, six of them containing critical
security fixes. With each update, Java actively tries to install
unwanted software. Here's what it does, and why it has to stop… IAC,
which partners with Oracle to deliver the Ask toolbar, uses deceptive
techniques to install its software...The
Ask.com search page delivers
inferior search results and uses misleading and possibly illegal
techniques to deceive visitors into clicking paid ads instead of
organic search results.
^ "Ask Partner Network". Retrieved November 20, 2012.
Help Center". Retrieved May 5, 2016.
^ Heddings, Lowell (February 19, 2013). "The Shameful Saga of
Uninstalling the Terrible Ask Toolbar" (online). How-To Geek.
Retrieved January 1, 2016. If you managed to get infected with the
absolutely terrible Ask Toolbar on your computer, don’t be ashamed
– it could happen to anybody. Especially considering that is bundled
with the equally awful Java runtime. Those people should be ashamed of
^ "PC Magazine: How to Remove the
Ask.com Toolbar From Your Browser".
uk.pcmag.com. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
^ Rashid, Fahmida. "How to remove the
Ask.com Toolbar from your
browser". PCmag. Ziff Davis. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
^ "Oracle will continue to bundle 'crapware' with Java".
Computerworld. January 28, 2013. Bott found that the
was not immediately installed, but waited 10 minutes after Java
finished to kick in. "I've never seen a legitimate program with an
installer that behaves this way", said Bott
^ McKirdy, Eric. "
Help Center". Ask.com. Ask.com. Retrieved
August 29, 2014.
^ Keizer, Gregg (June 12, 2015). "
Microsoft deletes older Ask.com
browser toolbars, but ignores Oracle's new crapware" (online).
Computer World. Computerworld.com. Retrieved August 3, 2015. Microsoft
took what appeared to be a shot at Oracle's wallet this month when it
switched on search-and-destroy in its security software for older
versions of the Ask browser toolbar, which has long been bundled with
Java even in the face of users' complaints.
Malware Protection Center -
BrowserModifier:Win32/AskToolbarNotifier". microsoft.com. Retrieved
June 11, 2015.
^ "About Ask.com: TV Spots". Archived from the original on April 10,
2007. Retrieved April 25, 2007.
^ Ha, Anthony. "
Ask.com Returns to TV, Cautiously". AdWeek. Retrieved
November 12, 2012.
^ Vega, Tanzina. "
Ask.com Heralds a New Focus". New York Times.
Retrieved November 12, 2012.
^ Sandoval, Greg. "Hey, Times Square! I'm Google+. Please Notice Me".
CNET. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
^ Sullivan, Laurie. "
Ask.com Launches 'You Asked' Branding Campaign".
Media Post. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
^ Official Release (January 14, 2009). "–
multi-faceted program". Nascar.com. Archived from the original on June
28, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
^ Duane Cross. "Labonte will drive No. 96 for Hall of Fame in 2009 –
14 January 2009". Bbs.cid.cn.nascar.com. Archived from the original on
14 July 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
^  Archived March 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
Ask.com Partners With NASCAR, Says "Super Verticals" Will Put It
Back In Search Race". Searchengineland.com. January 13, 2009.
Retrieved July 12, 2011.
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