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Ask Jeeves to Rebrand

 8:19 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)


is dropping the butler who doubles as the mascot of its recently acquired Ask Jeeves online search business.

The New York-based online empire, which acquired Ask Jeeves for $1.9 billion in July, plans to rebrand the Web site as Ask.com, CEO Barry Diller said Wednesday at an investment conference. Just a month ago the butler's job seemed to be safe.



 8:25 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Great move. Absolutely brilliant!

People have often told me the cartoon butler thing put them off. Who wants to speak to a cartoon butler? It's so... Ronald Mcdonald.

Good job, Mr. Diller!


 9:09 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

"A brand is not doing its job unless it can show it's the ultimate solution," Frankel said.

Gutsy? Yes. Brilliant? Time will tell. There is a reason that Ask Jeeves is an also ran int the SE world. First one has to scroll through far too many ads (which are not clearly demarcated), and then the natural results are only so-so.



 9:14 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

...one has to scroll through far too many ads

Barry Diller got rid of those. For most searches it's just three ads on top. Try some searches.

Mr. Diller's doing a great job to rehabilitating Ask Jeeves. He's addressing the issues that have been dragging AJ down. It's exciting.


 10:10 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I did a search before my first post. 9 "sponsored web results" results filling the entire page above the fold.

So, at your suggestion, I did another. This time there were 10 "sponsored web results" above the fold. A third showed 10 ads above the fold, as did a 4th and fifth.

So, I thought I would try a current subject - disaster planning - given the heading of Rita right now. Sure enough, 9 "sponsored web results" taking up all the space above the fold.

Ask has a long ways to go...



 10:14 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

wbf, I just tried the same search you used: disaster planning - only 3 ads. Perhaps you need to clear your cookies?


 10:19 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ahh, for certain destination type searches I'm getting three listings at the top from CitySearch, a Diller property, then three sponsored results.


 10:58 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

For many "hotel in" searches and similar, I get three ads, then 10 serps, then 5 more ads.

Hmm.. they got rid of that annoying banner at the top.... and seems to be less spammy than Google! I may even start using them again.


 11:00 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Prolific - clearing cookies did indeed make a difference. I wonder how many out there will know to do the same?

Interesting, since the bulk of the searches I tried before were generic money terms that I seldom, if ever, do searches on. Makes me wonder what was stored in the cookie.

I still find the results to be of questionable value. Gigablast generally has far more relevancy in my experience.


Lord Majestic

 11:07 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Typical business "solution" -- if all else fails then rebrand.


 2:51 am on Sep 22, 2005 (gmt 0)



 1:09 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

What about the remarkable brand loyalty that kept the site afloat for all those years? The people that have used the site have done so because of the Jeeves character, not because of the quality (or lack of) of the results.

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