You knew that Ask.com wasn't going to stay out of the limelight for too long. The past few weeks have seen its three largest search-engine rivals -- Yahoo!
Ask.com parent IAC/InterActiveCorp
The new Ask.com search result pages aim to do it all. Depending on the search terms, you'll be treated to website entries, snapshots, related recent news, and video clips on the same page. Ask.com is calling the new three-panel feature Ask3D.
With just 5% of the search engine market, IAC has no problem taking chances. It did that when it introduced thumbnail snapshots of search-result landing pages. It did that when it sent Jeeves, its butler avatar, off to retirement. Not all of this week's enhancements are original. Google will also lump news entries and snapshots into some of its searches. Still, you can't blame Ask for trying.
In another deal announced yesterday, Ask is teaming up with blinkx in a revenue-sharing deal that will find blinkx providing video-search functionality on the search engine. Ask.com's larger rivals run popular video-sharing sites, so IAC is smart to team up with a proven partner instead of starting from scratch here.
The press releases for Ask3D and the blinkx deal were issued at the same time yesterday. Is this a one-two punch to get noticed? Perhaps, but Ask's small size is also its advantage. If audiences take to the enhancements, even a small market-share nibble can go a long way when you command just 5% of the market.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz misses Jeeves, but he does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.