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Betting on the Butler

 10:38 pm on Jun 14, 2003 (gmt 0)


At its height in December 1999, when the site's smiling Web butler mascot graced advertisements and headlines, the stock came close to $200 per share. A year ago, the stock was trading at 86 cents, its 52-week low.



 10:48 pm on Jun 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ask Jeeves expects its relationship with Google to bring in $100 million in shared revenue over the next three years--Ask Jeeves will probably get about 75% to 85% of that amount.

Phew, while I catch my breath.

the above type of figures are usually NOT revealed, NO wonder Google got the deal from Espotting in the UK.

75% > 85% if true, has to be 1 of the highest deals in this industry so far, in other words its a pure traffic and brand deal for Google with NOT that much money.

On another note ASKjeeves traffic converts beautifully for B2C markets.



 12:19 am on Jun 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree with what my hit tracker says about the butler:

No relevant data has been collected...

Stock prices going up won't help Jeeves attract more users. Does Joe Consumer care? Nope.

My two cents for Jeeves is to work with the real opinion makers of this industry, the webmasters, and lose the frames- that way we can more accurately track users and their keywords, etc.


 12:41 am on Jun 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Somewhat unrelated, but it's remarkable that Ask is about the only big engine strictly confined to the English language and operating US/UK only.
In continental Europe nobody ever heard of them. Wonder if that's a healthy business strategy?


 2:42 am on Jun 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Certainly not from a European viewpoint, question is do they care?

Ask Jeeves needs to maintain the popularity of their search engine among Internet users. Internet users have a variety of other search techniques, including other search engines and subject-matter directories, available to them to find information on the Web. Users can also use non-Web-based methods of obtaining information through the Internet, including call centers, chat rooms and email, rather than browsing through difficult-to-navigate corporate Web sites.

The biggy getting and keeping searchers coming to AJ properties for search instead of other engines and mediums of search. A very big task indeed.

Possible angle's for AJ to take:

1. Regular crawl / update cycle (on par with G, if not better
2. More advertising, via all media and mediums
3. Start picking up partners to feed to
4. Move into other language's regional targetting, as Heini noted
5. Avoid getting swollowed whole by one of the other big players, G, MSN, OV, Y! who could possibly stiffle all off the other four points.

Another interest part of the article relating to point 5.
For all these reasons, we think Ask Jeeves is still an exceptionally attractive stock and this month it makes it onto our buy list this month.

Definetly a wait and see, but they are ripe for the buying at the moment.


 5:38 pm on Jun 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, I don't use Jeeves, but I am in the 2nd week of a three week experiment with Teoma. I installed the Teoma toolbar and am always beginning any searches there.

Almost always I go back to Google. I just don't have much luck finding what I am looking for on Teoma.

Until that changes they will remain an also ran.



 7:48 am on Jun 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

“Ask needs to maintain the popularity of their search engine “

A couple of years ago Ask did a big TV advertising campaign here in the UK, now days you never see or hear of them, I am very aware of their share of the UK traffic going down.

Searchers are becoming much more web savvy to the point where google uk is now starting to show decent traffic.

I always think of Ask as providing results for the less web savvy driven by their high profile TV adds.

Shak is right about ask traffic converting, I often wonder why, maybe the searcher is in a hurry and desperate “ah yes that that add, ask the butler”

That is some deal with Google! they have also now increased the minimum spend on answerlinks. They need to spend and get their profile and traffic in the UK back.. It feels to me that it is run by accountants who are just trying for the highest margins may look good to the stock market.


 1:20 am on Jun 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

News item from Monday- nobody's mentioned it yet, so here goes.
[eastbay.bizjournals.com ]

AskJeeves just sold a total of $115 million of notes.
Ask Jeeves plans to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes, including potential future acquisitions.

Maybe it's too hot out here in San Francisco, but my brain can't figure what they have in mind to purchase.

Maybe they read heini's post and they're looking to expand to continental Europe...

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