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I'm seeing noticeable (but not surprising)increases on a number of sites, and one or two with increases that are beyond what I would call normal.
I suspect there may be some kind of snapshot type access to sites when a search is performed. (I've seen this from other providers in the past.)
I hand checked a good few of mine - they certainly appeared to be genuine searches.
Ask was nowhere near to Googles figures though, but a very close third behind Yahoo.
My other sites are showing a modest gain by Ask, but this one stands out like a sore thumb - must be a customer profile thing.
The only news I found of Ask Jeeves adding new partners was at [ask.co.uk...] regarding Friends Reunited.
Doesn't seem to be a major new distribution partner to me - althought I don't know the UK market too much, I can't see thousands of people searching from Friends Reunited.
Who else has Ask.co.uk signed recently?
They do seem to have extended their index quite considerably recently...
Very recently- like within the last week or two. The size of their index as an accurate snapshot of the web has been my big complaint.
Unfortunately the new stuff seems to be around two or three months stale. I guess if freshness matters it's important to PFI, which is what I may do.
It appears that they add to the index about twice a year. Could it three times a year, or does twice a year sound about right?
So for me, google and Ask Jeeves are alike :(
I think it is a little premature to suggest AskJeeves is a serious competitor to Google, Yahoo or MSN, but I think it is safe to say it now is a real contender for 4th spot and likely to do better in the coming months at the expense of Google.
AskJeeves has kept a low but steady profile for a long time. It's results are generally good IMHO and it deserves a larger market share :)
Growing up in the programming world, natural language queries seem a bit strange to me, but I've observed people using Ask and acting like their natural language queries are normal ... like they're conversing with a human.
I say "huh?, that's a machine you're talking to", but they don't know how to think and talk like a machine.
Do you have any statistical anecdotes to support the notion you stated earlier about Ask traffic being very natural language-driven?
I have a large number of clients who are typically using AdWords, Overture and FindWhat, so learning about Ask Jeeves is something I need to do.