Ask.com gives up on search business
Switches to Q&A plan and cuts 130 jobs in N.J., China
Computerworld - Long the also-ran in the search market, Ask.com announced on Tuesday that it is getting out of the search business.
The Oakland, Calif.-based company is switching gears and will focus on building out its online question-and-answer service, where people take customers questions, said Doug Leeds, president of Ask.com, in a blog post.
The company will also be laying off 130 employees, most of whom are engineers, and closing offices in Edison, N.J. and Hangzhou, China, said Valerie Combs, a spokeswoman for the company.
Ask.com will outsource its search technology, but Combs wouldn't say which company might take over that work for them.
"We know that receiving answers to questions is why Ask.com users come to the site, and we are now serving them in everything we do," Leeds wrote. "Unfortunately, this absolute focus means that we need to stop investing in things outside of providing users with the best answers..."
The company has fallen behind in the increasingly competitive search arena. Just last month, online researcher comScore reported that Ask.com was in fourth place in the U.S. search market behind third-place Microsoft Bing and second-place Yahoo. It's well behind the market leader Google.
According to comScore's numbers, Ask.com had 3.7% of the search market in September. Google had 66.1%.
Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, said he was not surprised to see Ask.com drop out of the search fray. "It's kind of a shame too because they had a nice brand and should have appealed well to older Internet users," he said.
"Their market share had dropped into the noise and I imagine there will be more people surprised that they are still around...," Enderle said. "The days of there being a lot of search engines are over for now."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
- Yahoo can't stall Bing rollout in Taiwan, Hong Kong
- Google keeps Bing, Yahoo at bay in search business
- Google updates Google Now, makes it more prominent on phones
- Yahoo to focus on search -- and Google
- Microsoft's Bing counters Google with Yelp partnership
- Mozilla dumps Yandex as default search for Russian Firefox
- Google aims to make search smarter, easier
- Microsoft Bing goes social in search war with Google
- Facebook tries to out-Google Google with new search tool
- Google, Microsoft each seek search 'game changer'
Read more about Internet Search in Computerworld's Internet Search Topic Center.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- OpenStack and Red Hat: IDC White paper Most OpenStack deployments are by public cloud providers that are early adopters of technology and use OpenStack in a do-it-yourself deployment and support...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Internet Search White Papers | Webcasts