And yet another search engine is giving up the fight in the space. First Yahoo said it would use Microsoft’s Bing to power its search as it just couldn’t compete with Google, and now Ask.com, which has been around since 1996, is also going to stop trying to fight the Big G, and instead will be focusing on its other products as a way to stay alive in the changing landscape.
Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp purchased Ask.com for $1.85 billion in 2005 with the idea of taking on Google. According to a Bloomberg report, Ask is letting go of 130 developers and will keep 20 that are currently in New Jersey if they are willing to relocate to Oakland, CA. The remaining team will be working on the company’s question & answer product, but there will be no further development on the search engine product.
While the company will no longer be working on its own search product, it will retain the search box for those that wish to use it, but it will be powered by a third-party which will be named at a later date. Our guess is it will be Microsoft’s Bing just like it is now for Yahoo. We don’t see Ask, or any other search engine for that matter, giving business to a company they blame for their woes.
Considering Ask has been ranked by metric reporting Nielsen as being in sixth place amongst U.S. search engines, which comes to a mere two percent of the market, means this decision makes perfect sense. Despite its lackluster performance of the past several years, we’ll never forget the gusto they went after the market with.
What say you? Will you miss Ask?