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Seeing a major update

     
1:03 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Looks like a complete overhaul...
12:09 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Quite a lot seems to have changed, indeed. Can't say it's much of an improvement as I still see some of the familiar big bugs [webmasterworld.com]. A search for a keyword that supposedly returns 2.5 million results gives me 10 listings on page 1, 0 on page 2, 1 on page 3, 2 on page 4, etc. As also mentioned in that topic, on some results pages they are still consistently displaying only pages that had the keyword as the only word in their title. Not a big overhaul in that respect, but there have been soms shifts in terms of ranking (where rankings are 'normal').
4:14 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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When I started the thread, the results looked like Google but a slightly different order. I cleared my cookies later in the day since my logs were showing traffic from the old results. Once cleared, the results reverted back.
10:57 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ditto. They may be testing the new results with a select percentage of users. I also got a popup yesterday with some survey questions. Guess they're getting serious ;-)
6:55 pm on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This is the first search engine I've seen returning only five results as a default because they've stuffed the page with so much Adsense. When I set it to 100 the returned results are only 35. Adsense is probably the only thing keeping Ask afloat. Personally I see little evidence that these Adword Partners are returning much for advertisers.
9:01 pm on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I see a better return from ASK when they syndicate Google's ads rather than advertising with them individually. My ROI via Google ads on ASK over the past 3 months has been positive, but nothing to shout about.
3:43 am on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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...only five results as a default...

Is that on page one? ;)

On one query, I thought I'd look at page 2, and what I saw was kind of shocking...

- a block of four ads, on such a lightly colored background that it was really hard to tell where they ended...

- then one algorithmic result...

- then a block of five ads, consisting of the four at the top plus one additional...

- and then one more algorithmic result.

The page says it's "Showing 11 - 11 of 2,002,000" results.

Page 3 is "Showing 21-25 of 2,002,000" results, and it has nine ads, as on page 2, with five organic results in the middle.

I hope this is just a bug. It would be shameful if they keep it this way.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 3:44 am (utc) on Jan. 20, 2009]

9:10 am on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm not seeing any funny number of results in the SERPs. I get 4 adverts at the top with 5 at the bottom.

Not sure if this is new as I rarely look at Ask but any site that would get site links in Google have a permanent snapshot of their website and Wikipedia has a pic next to it (but not a snapshot) regardless where it is in the SERPs

9:13 am on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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update to the above, found a search term that results 1 result on page one, now that's exposure! Also Ask seems to show some detrimental functionality to some of my money terms