Well, the day has come where the once iconic butler of the Ask Jeeves search engine has finally be laid to rest, or retired at least. The anticipated retrenchment of Jeeves was widely publicized late last year, but in the past week, the site changes have finally been implemented.
In the wake of the butler’s departure, Ask.com has taken on a minimalist homepage appearance which is synonymous with the top search engines these days. Front and center is the customary search box, but off to the right is a handy little toolbox with all the advanced search functionality neatly packaged for easy access.
Whilst most of the advanced search features are nothing new, including image search, news, maps and directions, weather, encyclopedia, thesaurus, movie listings, stock market, and currency conversion, it is obvious that Ask.com are readying themselves for the web 2.0 revolution. The first steps include access to the Ask.com mystuff section, easy access to Bloglines, and user defined controls on the toolbox’s appearance.
The first release presents very comparably to Ask.com’s main adversaries like Yahoo!, MSN and Google, but their spokesman and General Manager, Jim Lanzone, suggests they are planning to build more tools and services through outside developers to ensure “…users are going to experience a search engine that does more for them faster than any other search engine they use.”
So as Jeeves takes up his position on the sun lounge at the nearest retirement village, the team at Ask.com are moving full steam ahead to re-establish themselves as a serious search engine..