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When there was a bug in Ask a few months ago, I reported it to them directly, and got a personal, helpful, reply from their main Technical bloke.
You get enough traffic from Ask to notice?
I don't believe in relying just on Google (PPC or SEO) for my traffic or income.
I rechecked two key search phrases when I last posted and still look good for those.
Ask, though, is going to abandon its current SE and, according to a recent news report, focus on niche engining. The best results for certain sectors. It recently bought dictionary.com.
Its not to late, but they need to start tinkering with they SERPs and steal some marketshare - rather than worrying about how much money they can make from G, for displaying ads on there ever decreasing market share. These guys need to keep there eyes open, once they have no share of the search market - where do they expect the advertising revenue to come from ?
yes i believe there was a press release about a re-focus. Does not detract from the quality of SERPs and what they were doing in the past causing where they are now. I've been moaning about the quality of teoma's/ask serps for years now at past WebmasterWorld conferences.
> Do they still have international search?
they do operate 7 sites on subdomains for german, french, italian, spanish, japanese, dutch and uk as well as ask.com -> whats actually happening with them - i don't know. Other than the UK, ask's impact in its varying identities over the years have been minimal upon europe, though some of the Continental chaps here may know differently.