In the business sense, the engine will include more personalized approaches to search, to do battle with heavyweight rivals such as Google
As of today, new features include MyJeeves, which allows users to save and organize their Web searches as the company moves toward personalization of the Web experience, and local search, one of the core applications that Internet users want in a search engine.
Ask Jeeves certainly hasn't been shirking its work in terms of creating ways to keep up with the Joneses (and the Googles and the Yahoo!s). However, it still has only a mere 6% of the search engine market, according to Comscore. To further complicate matters, Amazon.com's
A9 includes lots of new techniques in personalization, including a running tally of recent searches, as well as targeted search of media such as books, which segues right into its main e-commerce site. Just after launch, Amazon instituted a discount to shoppers searching through A9.com, illustrating how it can theoretically cull search users from an already hefty customer base. So it's not too hard to imagine that A9.com could take a bite out of the share of the other players in search.
And of course, there's always the long-awaited Microsoft
Trading at 31 times forward earnings, Ask Jeeves may sound like a bargain to some, given the higher P/E ratios attributed to its rivals. Meanwhile, back in July, Jeeves shocked investors by providing earnings guidance that was lower than analysts' forecasts.While many have mentioned that any question of Jeeves' survival is no longer an issue, given the competition at hand -- and the mighty caliber of the rivals -- there is still risk attached to Ask Jeeves as the search industry continues to evolve.
Does Ask Jeeves stand a chance? Talk about the search industry on the Google discussion board.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.