Ask.com Leaves Google for Wives

In business news:

In a dramatic about-face, Ask.com is abandoning its effort to outshine Internet search leader Google Inc. and will instead focus on a narrower market consisting of married women looking for help managing their lives.

[…]

With the shift, the Oakland-based company will return to its roots by concentrating on finding answers to basic questions about recipes, hobbies, children’s homework, entertainment and health.

The decision to cater to married women primarily living in the southern and midwestern United States comes after Ask spent years trying to build a better all-purpose search engine than Google.

Quite the mission shift.

FILED UNDER: General, Science & Technology,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    At first I thought this was a feature from the Onion. I can see how they’d not want to continue trying to compete with Google but it’s unclear to me how they’ll do a better job as a specialist interest-only than they have as a general search engine.

  2. yetanotherjohn says:

    Google doesn’t have to be an order of magnitude better than any other search engine, they just need to be 2% better on a consistent basis to grow to a point of being much better.

  3. Chris says:

    The simple truth is Google has a better algorithm. I remember when jeeves first made the transition and started advertising. I thought to myself then it was a losing proposition. No amount of marketing can overtake a better product when it’s as simple as one takes you where you want to go more often than the other.