Ask.com is snapping on the heels of Google Universal Search with Ask 3D, the integration of all its search verticals into one main results page. ‘Nothing new’ you say… well there are some fundamental and surprisingly great differences between Ask 3D and Google Universal!
The ’3D’ given to the new Ask.com search service relates to the 3-pane view in the search results page, as shown below in a search for David Beckham!
Unlike Google’s search results that combine all its vertical searches into one main results, Ask presents the searcher with categorized results. Images appear under ‘Images’, relevant blog results under ‘Blogs’ and so on!
Depending on the search query, Ask.com provides the searcher with a range of results. Local queries may return maps, temperatures, local business listings and the local time, whereas search for a celebrity and you get images, blogs, Wikipedia entries, News Images and even upcoming events, all on the one page!
Admittedly, I’ve always been an avid Google user, but I’m drawn to Ask’s new search offering! It appears that these two search engines have approached ‘integrated’ search from different angles. Google will continue to show the top 10 search results, if an image is deemed the 3rd most relevant result, then that is where it is displayed. Ask presumes that users want to see the most relevant search results grouped by category.
There is no doubt that Ask 3D provides a great search experience that rivals Google Universal. It will be interesting if Google respond with more personalization, or yet another update, to combat the interest that Ask will receive from this release!