You have been dismissed, Jeeves. was relaunched yesterday without any longer emphasizing the services of its butler mascot, originally a creation of author P.G. Wodehouse.

The site gave the noble servant a colorful sendoff after 10 dutiful years -- he was featured riding off into the sunset on horseback in his last graphical presentation on the site. was created to provide things like his farewell letter and notes of encouragement from well-wishers.

The butler's dismissal may seem like a logical move for Barry Diller's IAC/InterActive (NASDAQ:IACI) -- after all, is a lot easier to remember than -- but let's not assume that a common word as simple as "ask" will be more marketable.

If anything, history has shown us that common words often have an even higher hurdle to clear. never had a problem sending folks to, but I can't be the only one who often found myself typing in the longer domain because it just felt right.

Jeeves gave personality to the search engine, and personality is sometimes as important as having superior searching technology and quick-loading pages. Branding is a big thing in the search space.

Consider this: commands just 5.5% of the country's Web searches. That places it fifth behind Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), Inside Value pick Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Stock Advisor pick Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) What do those four have in common? That's right: Their search domains are not common words.

A search portal by any other name is clearly still a search portal, and having a generic word like "ask" as your dot-com moniker may even be seen as a liability. CNET (NASDAQ:CNET) owns Ever been there? Probably not. I have, but that's because I recommended CNET to Motley Fool Rule Breakers subscribers last year. is a great search engine. As a metasearch provider, it scours more popular sources to arrive at an effective cross-section of relevant results.

CNET's portfolio is loaded with great common-word domains such as,, and, but they aren't the Net's favorite movie, news, and television sites, respectively.

IAC knows this. Many of its popular sites, including CitySearch, Ticketmaster, and HSN are more recognized brands than simply,, or Even at its Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) spinoff, the namesake site is a better-known travel site than the company's own

Losing the edge of Jeeves won't matter if the company is able to put its many dot-com puzzle pieces together. They make up an impressive portfolio. And it's an expensive portfolio, too. didn't come cheap for IAC: The company shelled out $1.85 billion for the search engine last year. That may seem like a big tab for a company that commands just 6% of the search-engine market. Moreover, it grew revenues by a mere 9% over the past year, far slower than its larger rivals.

Did Ask need a makeover? You bet. Did it need to lose Jeeves along the way? I don't think so.

A lot is riding on this decision. My money is on Jeeves coming out of retirement in a few months.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story, though he has been a frequent freelance contributor to IAC's CitySearch. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.