When I attended the Jeeves retirement party at Search Engine Strategies 2005 in NYC, I never thought that the makeover from AskJeeves.com to Ask.com would end with the site being rebranded, only a very few years later, as a women's niche search engine. Can we say floundering?
AskJeeves originally debuted as the search engine where you can literally ask Jeeves, their butler mascot, any question you wanted, in natural language. The results stunk. It didn't work. The only people who used the site were middle aged women (my mom included, as it was the only search engine she was familiar with back then, believe it or not). So off Jeeves went as the new Ask tried to compete in the big boys search engine market with Google and Yahoo!.
They should have realized that if they couldn't get it to work with married, middle aged women, it wasn't going to work on a larger market. And so off they go, yet again, to go back to their roots. As said on an MSNBC article, the company will concentrate "on finding answers to basic questions about recipes, hobbies and children's homework" through a "decision to cater to married women primarily living in the southern and midwestern United States".
I'm wondering if I should sell my stock in InterActiveCorp (Ask.com's parent company) before disaster strikes a third time for this company.