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ASK JEEVES and TEOMA are different to Google, they are not owned or controlled by google, and hence they way everything works is different.
The algo is considerably different and the variables measured are weighted differently, im surprised that you would make an assumption that Google optimisation is in any way optimisation for any other search engine - it's not.
Teoma links very tightly related incoming and reciprocated linking. If you wish to do well with teoma, you need to start thinking about your site being a hub - hence an authority on the subject at hand.
Your link strategy is especially important with Teoma. Who you link to (and who links to you) helps determine what neighborhood you are in, which helps teoma determine what you are about.
In message#4 I went into more details about neighborhoods in this thread here [webmasterworld.com].
So, one link building strategy is to do recips with sites that not only are on-topic for you, but whose own links are on-topic as well. Niche directories are in, broad business.com directories are out (simply because they are too fuzzy and unfocused).
Internal topic structure must be good as well. The more focused your site is around a topic, with all pages hammering at it from different directions (in the title, body, etc.) the better. The site forms a micro version of the macro community.
I've studied Teoma's results and see this in action when the number one result is off (btw, the off results are the ones to study). It will show you things like one word of the phrase is missing, but present elsewhere throughout the site- and also it may show you that the link community it belongs to may have an influence as well for that particular word.
Many of the link strategies advocated for Google (PR hunting, guestbook spamming, etc.) may backfire on you with Teoma.