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Ask Jeeves Search Engine. Do You Believe in Magic?  

:: Thursday, June 16, 2005 ::

I should have trusted my instincts. I felt, while at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in New York City back in March, that the star of the conference wasn't Google or even Yahoo!, who was celebrating an anniversary. The hot item was, and still is, Ask Jeeves.

What's happening? Is Ask the new Google or its own success on its own terms?

See The Search Race.
"That with ASK you expect ANSWER. You don't search, you ask."

See The Most Exciting Year for Search Engines? where Bill Slawski (aka "bragadocchio") discusses patent findings and observations from an article from Mike Grehan.

See Live Q&A Session with Jim Lanzone, VP of Ask Jeeves. The interview is lively and informative. Here's a bit on usability testing and eyetracking done by Ask Jeeves.

"Zoom is a good example of fusing several of these bits of research together. We knew from internal data that our old clustering technology, called Related Topics, was our #1 most used feature (aside from web search) for the past three years. We learned why through research: most people do not use advanced search or tabs. That white box is sooooooo easy to get started with, people will make the tradeoff every time and just enter something to get going. This leads to iteration: if someone's initial search is off base, they will simply try again. Related Topics was the way they iterated.

Eyetracking was also revealing. We found that the right side of the page, where our competitors have ads, is a natural "next steps" location for searchers. They evaluate a search results page in an "F" pattern. First down the left side for their results, then to the upper right to iterate if they dont find what they want the first time.

So, we determined both to build the next generation of Related Topics, called Zoom, and to leave Zoom in place in the upper right part of the page. Feedback has been amazing. People love Zooming.

And since you mentioned it, yes, usability played a HUGE part in deciding to highlight answers rather than query terms in the Web Answers product. We found in usability that many people skipped over direct answers placed above the 10 blue links, and automatically headed straight to the 10 blue links for their "answer." So we came up with this UI treatment. In usability, people consistently said, "There. That's the answer right there." They found it every time. We then A/B tested it live on the site, and found that the product improved click-through rate on our top result by over 200%. We knew we had a winner."

He's Making Us Squirm

Peter DaVanzo is sending Cre8asite staff pictures of he and his wife's visit to Bangkok. We wondered how he was doing. Now, we're just pathetically jealous.

Who is the Stupid One?

Users are not dumb.


Cre8asite photography and web image fans check out someone's red rose and yack it up about the hobby in Please Rate my red rose image

Internet Control Take-Over

There's a new bully in our playground.

A battle for the soul of the Internet

"The United Nations and the ITU are putting forward two main arguments for replacing ICANN. They claim such a move is necessary to wrest control of the Internet from the United States and that ICANN is a private organization, beholden to no one and representing no one."

"In fact, if the United Nations and the ITU were successful, it is not difficult to envision a balkanization of the Internet, as whole portions of the network decided they did not want to rely on the United Nations and the ITU for their single authoritative root. If that balkanization were to take place, the damage to the global economy would be incalculable."

Happy Fathers' Day to all the great Dad's out there

:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 6/16/2005 11:28:00 AM

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