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Ask Jeeves upgrades its technology

Ask Jeeves is the latest search company to upgrade its technology and capabilities in an attempt to increase market share in the face of Google's domination.
Yahoo! for example, unveiled its latest search engine a few weeks ago, and search advertising firm Overture (Nasdaq: OVER) recently announced it will buy Alta Vista. The hunt for search supremacy is on.
Ask Jeeves' new Smart Search streamlines the searching process and its results. The technology will immediately provide images and news for search terms that it determines warrant such results, instead of users having to click another tab to see pictures or news. The site is also cleaner and, according to the company, loads 50% faster than it did previously.
Additionally, searchers will be able to more easily find out local information, such as movie show times and directions, with the new Ask Jeeves. A search for movie times, for example, will first return a zip code request, and then the desired information. Related search topics and clarification for searches have also been improved and expanded.
Ask Jeeves is the fifth-most popular search destination according to a February 2003 Neilsen/Net Ratings survey. The site had 13 million visitors and the average time spent there was 11 minutes per person. Google, on the other hand, enjoyed 40.3 million visitors and 25 minutes per person.
Ask Jeeves says it's not trying to replicate Google, but provide an alternative to the popular search engine instead. It believes there's room for several players in the market. When speaking with Reuters, President Steve Berkowitz said, "We've always taken the approach of not trying to out-Google Google."
That's a smart tactic, and if Ask Jeeves can effectively market itself, it just might work. The company, which has been around for six years, is profitable and provides search services for businesses in addition to its butler-branded site. It announces first-quarter results tomorrow afternoon, and is expected to earn $0.04 a share on sales of $23.25 million.

Source: Motley Fool.com
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