Thursday, July 03, 2008
Ask.com Quietly Becomes Ninth Largest Website
Expert sites have always been a part of the Internet culture.
Back in the "old days" -- the seventies and early eighties -- once the network was available to those who had access to personal computers (or university networks) and a modem, people would share information on message boards or through email.
Collaboration was the name of the game.
Eventually the Web came along and then search engines, giving people an increasing amount of power when it came to finding answers. The message networks still exist (check out Google Groups for an archive of some of them), but people are more likely to Google and answer or ask someone who is in their online social network.
Or so I thought.
Turns out experts are still in demand (with apologies to Andrew Keen, of course). I know this because Ask.com just acquired the Lexico Publishing Group, owners of Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com and Reference.com.
The acquisition gives the company 145 million users each month (thanks to the 15 million bump from Lexico) and makes it the ninth most visited site on the Web.
Now this isn't going to help re-invigorate the user groups I once trafficked, but it does create an interesting proposition for those who aren't as well versed in keyword search as those of us who spend too much time online.
Ask.com parses out information in silos (much like Yahoo once did), narrowing effective searches right from the start. (This is different than Google, which doesn't ask users to winnow from the start.)
In other words, it asks you to be the expert about what you are searching for instead of using natural language (like Ask once did) to find information.
By Brad at 03:59 PM | Comments (2)