Ask Jeeves latest weapon in battle for search supremacy

Ask Jeeves UK’s new Zoom tool, launching in the UK after a May rollout in the US, promises to improve navigation and allow users to refine or expand their search.

Users can zoom in or zoom out of the results from Ask Jeeves, through categories on the right side of the page, such as: 'narrow your search', 'expand your search' and 'related names'.

The new service evolves the Teoma search technology, which breaks the Web into Internet communities of related topics. The Zoom feature analyses the relationships between these communities to identify and present related topics to the user.

For example, users could refine a search under Beatles to view Beatles lyrics, Beatles history and Beatles wallpaper. The search can expand to include Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, or the 1960s. Meanwhile, 'related names' can isolate information about the other band members.

Tony Macklin, vice-president of European product, said: "Related search is one of our key services to help users find what they need faster than with other search engines, and the new Zoom tool is a unique innovation to this core search feature."

Ask Jeeves has 5.1m users in the UK, and 29m in the US, according to Nielsen NetRatings, making it the seventh largest global Web property.

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