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Is Ask a better search engine than Google?
Am I the only one that thinks this?
elguiri




msg:3319770
 9:39 am on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just wanted to test opinion out there (and find out if anyone is looking at this department in the forum).

Ask has less money than Google, fewer resources and, accordingly, less frequent spidering and updating, and a smaller index.

Nonetheless, as far as I can see it produces much better results. Ask is naturally more difficult to game, and no Ask rep has needed to ask webmasters to rat on their colleagues - because it hasn't needed to.

Couldn't webmasters be the kingmakers in the search game? Google became popular with the masses because it was popular with geeks in the first instance. Couldn't we gently urge the masses towards Ask - at least as an alternative. (I'm a hopeless dreamer).

Diversity is good for everyone, and the big G monopoly is rather worrying.

 

elguiri




msg:3321058
 10:35 am on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Gosh it's quiet around here. There's a cold breeze under the front door and dust on the bookshelves.

centime




msg:3321134
 12:21 pm on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi

I think ask SERPs are dire, the poor spidering , very low caching ability , not of the standard required in a grade 1 search engine,

but, they show promise, plus I like the fact that they're pushing their brand

However, their complete absense here on webmasters world, their refusal to engage with webmasters, plus the lack of referals does mean no one hearabouts gets excited about ask

An

kevinpate




msg:3321138
 12:24 pm on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is it actually more difficult to manipulate, or is it merely a low ROI to do so, creating an absence of interest in manipulating it.

If the latter, it seems that would change once increase in usage by the end users was detected.

I have no quibble with Ask, and I use it regularly through a particular portal. I just don't see it as being all that different from the rest.

dhatz




msg:3321233
 1:32 pm on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

As webmaster, I think you can form a pretty good opinion about *any* SE, by simply looking at your logs. I'm not talking about referrals here, which for many people is also an issue from a ROI pov.

But does a SE bot visit often, crawl deep, find & cache new content (particularly pages which have been deep-linked from various other sites)? Does it obey robots.txt? Does it cache content (i.e. produce 304's for unmodified pages)?

In my case, I can easily see that Ask/Teoma bot keeps asking for non-existing, deprecated URLs, which have been superseded over 2.5yr ago.

For some reason, Ask/Teoma bot is very slow to spider new pages, readily crawlable from the site's linking structure (or by consulting the sitemap.xml new standard), with deeplinks from other sites. Instead, many of its requests end up 404s (i.e. waste of resources, both its own and ours).

These observations do not boost my confidence in Ask's ability to find relevant content.

elguiri




msg:3322269
 10:35 am on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

They certainly do have a spidering issue. And I imagine that comes down to money. They have nothing like the amount of cash Google and Yahoo have to invest in infrastructure.

Nonetheless, I see their ability to sort the data they have as stronger. Google bombs never worked in Ask because of the way they cluster results. They seem to me better at identifying authorities for a particular search term, and therefore can rely less on things like trustrank which is now twisting Google's results in another direction - sites with lots of .edu or .gov links will rank well for including a phrase even if the rest of the page has little relevance. (Sorry, I have no scientific evidence for this - it's just perception).

One other point. Google's spider speed is backing off too. The supplemental index, which will end up being 90% of documents, won't see too many bot visits.

BillyS




msg:3323247
 1:09 am on Apr 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ask is the most under-rated search engine out there today. In my relatively non-scientific studies involving about a dozen identical queries Ask was the only SE that intepreted each query correctly.

wet89wet




msg:3324689
 7:54 am on Apr 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

try "virginia" or "france" in image search and compare with the others

[images.ask.com...]
[images.ask.com...]

Keniki




msg:3326889
 12:37 am on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

If I am number one on "ask" and nowhere on google then for me too its a better engine :)
Last stuff I read on teoma was they were using clusters rather than links to gather search results. In same way google have moved towards this via trusted links. Ask was good untill they took the disastorous decision to put was it eight or ten (can't remember) sponsored results above there search listings and basically f#*$!ed there own site. Now in knowledge that over 80% of search is non commercial they have corrected the problem but for me its too little and way too late...

Brian




msg:3332134
 1:45 pm on May 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

IMO Ask is hopeless. I find search relevance isn't good for position #1, and then dissolves into absurdities.

I suppose some people might get suckered into the idea that this corporation is offering something different.

But IMO, what it's offering is crap.

Quadrille




msg:3332152
 2:15 pm on May 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ask hasn't a clue. They are currently diverting much needed research cash to a lame advertising campaign, while they really need to get a better function. Marketing over matter; usually a business suicide note.

It's simply twaddle to suggest that - in general - they produce better results than Google; they don't. Despite not being targetted by spammers as Google is.

No, they don't need to seek snitches, as no-one cares enough. Then, nor does Google; spammers have always snitched on each other and have always been Google's greatest source of info on spamming techniques.

If Ask want to do better, they need to stop getting their fans to beg for "urge the masses towards Ask" - and do what Google did - build a better search engine. That's the only way anyone will beat Google. And eventually, of course, someone will; unlikely to be Ask, I reckon, but theoretically possible.

"Build a Better Mousetrap and the World Will Beat a Path to Your Door" - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Asking people to select an inferior product because of fears about monopoly (as if!) suggests a hopeless dreamer with a thought disorder.

[edited by: Quadrille at 2:19 pm (utc) on May 6, 2007]

BillyS




msg:3332848
 11:41 am on May 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>Despite not being targetted by spammers as Google is.

What does that mean? Are you suggesting there are techniques unique to Google?

Personally I would think that spammers are not that picky and the techniques would apply to everyone. So if something is targeted at Google everyone has to deal with it.

Quadrille




msg:3332884
 1:00 pm on May 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just as virus makers target M$ mailing products, because they are brand leaders, and PCs in general, rather than Apple, so spammers do tend to target Google with spam techniques.

In many cases, all SEs need to set up defences for such techniques. But SEs are as unique as computer operating systems. Google, for example, has traditionally treated links in a very different way to other SEs, and spammers have long sought to exploit that difference, with much success, until about a year ago. Now the differences are not so obvious. But they are there.

And whether you were an honest SEO or a SE spammer, you'd think twice before targetting ASK, if your choices damaged your standing with Google. At least, I hope so ;)

BillyS




msg:3333377
 1:07 am on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>And whether you were an honest SEO or a SE spammer, you'd think twice before targetting ASK, if your choices damaged your standing with Google. At least, I hope so ;)

That's obvious but your answers are still in the format "just because they're Google."

My point is simply that everyone has to deal with spammers - even if it affects their results to a lesser degree. And just because Google is the most popular search engine today does not mean it's the best. That's like saying Microsoft puts out the best web browser because it's used more than any other. That's just plain silly.

One of the most popular stocks to own is Lucent Technologies - does that make it a great stock.

centime




msg:3333385
 1:26 am on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Methinks what is mean't is that Google, msn, yaho and ASK have distinctly diferent algo's.

It certainly shows in the SERPS, consequently, a technique for doing well with one SE probably would not work for other search engines,

I imagine that, that is widely accepted info nowadays

Seeing as ASK has such a minute share of the search market, the chaps quadrille was referring to probably are not too interested in designing their sites for ask.com success

aeramas




msg:3333439
 3:33 am on May 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I prefer Ask, when I do research, I want information, not 100 links to people trying to sell me the information.

glitterball




msg:3342362
 7:44 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I haven't paid much attention to ask, so I just checked all of the terms that I monitor in the other SEs.

I was amazed, it was like going back in time.
Age must be a big factor, because the top fives were very similar to how google was 5 years ago.

asiaseo




msg:3343726
 7:11 am on May 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I also had not looked for a long time, results were in my opinion good. I do not like the design that much but perhaps I am used to the others, but the actual results for various quieries came up with what I was looking for.

elguiri




msg:3354365
 9:26 am on May 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Asking people to select an inferior product because of fears about monopoly (as if!) suggests a hopeless dreamer with a thought disorder.

I think "thought disorder" was unnecessary.

No one would ask anyone to use an inferior product for fears of a monopoly. What's clear is that I'm not the only one that frequently gets better results from Ask, and it therefore exists as a alternative.

The issue here is diversity. Search by Google is still not a "one size fits all" solution.

PowerUp




msg:3358883
 8:48 am on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

...spammers have always snitched on each other and have always been Google's greatest source of info on spamming techniques.

Talking about spam, I just have to share this quote with you all.

"Like almost everyone, I receive a lot of spam everyday, much of it offering to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It's ridiculous." - Bill Gates -

Hahahahahahahaha.

thecityofgold2005




msg:3360415
 7:55 pm on Jun 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

If ask.com gains market share with a different algo it is good for the web and perversely good for Google as well. ask appears to me to rank using on-page factors to a greater extent.

In a hypothetical situation where you had ask and google with 50% of the market each, a spammer would find it impossible to spam both at once. Thus the paid link / networking that is such a feature of the web at the moment would hopefully be eliminated.

Robert Charlton




msg:3363680
 7:06 pm on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ask results can be very much skewed by the "peer group" from which Ask takes its reference links.

I occasionally try searches I do for myself on different engines for comparison purposes, and make notes about those that are particularly revealing. This search highlights many of Ask's problems, and I've looked at it from time to time over the years. I trust it's OK to post here....

on Ask:
how can I tell if a fluorescent tube is bad [ask.com]

on Google:
how can I tell if a fluorescent tube is bad [google.com]

First, as now compared to Google, Ask has gotten much better on this search.

Initially, when Teoma launched and I tried it, all the results were basically listings of Asian manufacturers of fluorescent tubes. The reason, it occurred, is because fluorescent lighting is much more common in Asia than in the rest of the world, so the inbound link sources in the fluorescent lighting sector that Asks uses for evaluation would be skewed in that direction.

About a year ago, Ask results were predominantly skewed toward aquarium lights and grow lights.

Now, Ask is returning at least some results that are relevant, but, IMO, on this search, they still fall short of Google's. I feel that Google's results have gotten a bit worse on this search as Ask's have improved.

On other searches, Ask is extremely good. In several highly competitive areas that I monitor, they are not returning the big sites with many purchased backlinks I'm seeing currently on Google... but on some of these searches they still aren't satisfying user intent as well as Google is.

thecityofgold2005




msg:3364444
 4:01 pm on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have been using ask from the IE7 search box for the past week or so and I like it.

Search for my personal use is much of muchness but I have noticed a decrease in the same sites always occupying top positions as compared to Google.

The big thing I like about the new ask is that it returns serps, images, videos, encylopedia entries, news, feeds.... all on the one page, as previews. This I have found very useful.

For example, go on ask and search for 'Matt Cutts'. You get the usual serps linking his blog, wiki. etc but you also get an extract from wikipedia of the entry relating to him in the top right corner. Sadly no pictures of his Mattness yes but if you search for a more famous person you also get photos.

This is progression in search in my opinion.

Useful, user led progression, of the kind that Google, in it's efforts to own all information and use it to sell us what we never thought we wanted, hasn't had for years.

Watch this space. Ask.com is on the way up.

ccDan




msg:3365062
 5:27 am on Jun 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Watch this space. Ask.com is on the way up.

I think, too, that Ask.com is on the way up, and Google may be on the way down. Whether Ask.com ultimately overtakes Google, or Google is upset by some other up-and-comer, is still too early to say.

Anyone remember why they switched to Google several years ago, away from places like Yahoo and others?

Because you were able to find what you were looking for. Oh, it wasn't perfect at first. You'd use Yahoo, then try Google when you didn't get enough good results. Over time, you used Google more and more, until you went to Google first.

I search for things in my niche. On a search tonight, for example, the first result in Google sounded promising, but it wound up being an MFA site with 9 different AdSense ads, one of the top ones being that omnipresent Ebay ad that shows up for everything, regardless of whether it's something you could actually find on Ebay.

On Ask.com, the first result was something actually relevant to what I was searching for. (Maybe their ads are right-Google's algorithm is lame.)

How long before I, and others, start searching on Ask.com first, Google second?

If you think about it, content is king. Content is what people are searching for. But, Google no longer rewards the best content with a top ranking. No, you have to have your site designed a certain way, obtain your links a certain way, be careful how you link among your own sites, avoid "bad neighborhoods", etc.

Some people may not have a problem finding stuff with Google. Others are switching to Ask.com. What's going to be important is what users are moving where. If Ask.com is gaining the right users, then it can get a foothold and start expanding into other search areas where it may be currently lacking.

steveb




msg:3366922
 11:49 pm on Jun 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Ask.com is on the way up."

Ask is deader than yesterday. Move on. The best search engine of 2002 isn't a shadow of the big three today, even though the big three are unrelentingly mediocre at their best.

thecityofgold2005




msg:3367909
 8:51 pm on Jun 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I still don't get the relentless Google loving here. It's insane. As the guy above said, Google has huge problems with being overexploited by you SEO guys..

It's not Altavista 1998 yet but it's getting that way. Remember how fast Altavista dissapeared? I do.

martinibuster




msg:3367940
 9:10 pm on Jun 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I still don't get the relentless Google loving here.

I just read this thread twice and didn't spot anything remotely resembling "relentless Google loving."

This is progression in search in my opinion.

No, it's a facelift and a good one at that. However, the underlying information is the same old results. You can take old vegetables and give them a great presentation on the plate with lots of sauce, but it's still a bunch of old vegetables with lots of sauce. The consensus apppears to be that Ask needs to move beyond superficial enhancements and marketing campaigns and focus on improving the underlying technology so that the actual data is fresh, accurate, and more useful.

thecityofgold2005




msg:3367986
 10:07 pm on Jun 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

No, it's a facelift and a good one at that. However, the underlying information is the same old results.

The consensus apppears to be that Ask needs to move beyond superficial enhancements and marketing campaigns and focus on improving the underlying technology so that the actual data is fresh, accurate, and more useful.

You're just reconfirming my belief that people on this forum look at things the wrong way regarding this thread and Ask.

To 99% of users of search engines, what Ask has done is a huge progression in search. To this 99% some change in algorithm, or an improvement in how Ask relates to webmasters, matters not one jot. Users like whizzy new features and Ask now has this in spades.

I have been using Ask for weeks and have found no dead pages. Most users are not going to find these problems. If you run 100's of searches every day looking for such things then you'll find them! But users won't be doing this. They'll type 'Paris Hilton' into the box and get serps, video, images, news.. WOW!

I'm not having a go at anyone here. I read this avidly and I am very into search. I'm just trying to put the point across that, when discussing the likely success or otherwise of Ask, people posting here are not the users who are going to make or break the issue.

martinibuster




msg:3368015
 10:26 pm on Jun 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm just trying to put the point across that, when discussing the likely success or otherwise of Ask...

Ok, I see where you're coming from, but we're not discussing the likely success of Ask. We're discussing which is the better search engine.

thecityofgold2005




msg:3368405
 10:05 am on Jun 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Better by who's definition, the user or the webmaster?

This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34 ( [1] 2 > >
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