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Article: Ask Jeeves situation in the search war.

 11:41 am on Jul 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Article [globetechnology.com]

Quite interesting article which talks a lot on it's financial position.



 11:49 am on Jul 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Don't think Google would buy Ask - though Microsoft may be interested. Would like to see it remain independent and grow - it has one of the smartest business models in my opinion.

The lack of free traffic from it in the uk is simply an indication of how well its paid for results match users queries.


 12:21 pm on Jul 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yahoo may buy them...they've bought everyone else. :)



 12:19 pm on Jul 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think teoma is a target for MSN, though not as much as LS.


 4:53 pm on Jul 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Microsoft is already on record as building their own search engine- they're even hiring more people to get this done.

Looked at from that perspective, that MS is growing their own stash, why would they go out to the corner and buy a nickel-bag search engine?

On the other hand, Looksmart has a great directory- this is like an indoor hydroponic garden, a very different thing from what MS has growing out in the back yard, and would complement them perfectly.

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:15 pm (utc) on July 27, 2003]


 5:06 pm on Jul 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

One flaw with the article is that it cites as truth one of AskJeeves' subtle media spins: "that sales growth came from growth in users, and the rate at which Ask Jeeves made money off those users."

The growth they are citing is pageviews. However, pageviews are an exceptionally poor metric for measuring growth because of the following reasons:

1> The frames thing they wrap around the serps may skew those figures. As long as that frame is there, and someone clicks through to a web site and clicks around that web site, are those clicks being counted as pageviews?

2> Additionally, for some searches, particularly in the uk, the first page of serps is an avalanche of ads, which may make some people click around for the natural serps.

3> Most importantly, the Big Reason why those pageviews statistics are skewed is because the drill-down technology that they rolled out encourages multiple pageviews.

So as a metric for growth in regard to AskJeeves, pageview is the least reliable.

The more accurate measure is Unique Visitors, and the stats don't look as rosy- and that's what AskJeeves is trying to hide with all that smoke about 37% Year over Year growth.

Q2 2003 Unique Visitors were down by 1.1 million visitors compared with Q1 2003. This indicates a slowdown in momentum, if not the beginning of a downward trend.

Comparing unique visitors for same quarter year over year:
Same quarter last year yielded Unique Visitors of 29 Million, while the number for this year is 31.5 million, an increase of 2.5 million unique visitors. That equals an increase of only 7.9%.

If you are interested in datamining the figures for yourself you can take a look at this PDF [webmasterworld.com] which contains the raw figures minus the media hype.

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