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Ask.com relaunches to curtail Google's dominance

Ask.com relaunches to curtail Google's dominance

Ask.com is shaking up the search engine market, and has relaunched its UK and US search engines as 'Ask 3D', introducing three dimensions to the standard search.

Web users will see two panels flanking the main results section when they conduct a search on the site, with a query control panel to the left, which allows visitors to narrow their search, and an extra content panel on the right.

Ask recently launched an ad campaign, created by Fallon, that used the theme of 'The other search engine' in an effort to show that there is an alternative to Google.

The content panel offers images, news items, blogs, weather, time, videos and music clips, automatically adapting the content to fit the search query. The videos can be previewed by moving the cursor over the film, to allow users to decide whether to click and see it in full.

Ask's homepage also gives visitors the chance to choose their own background from a range of preset visuals, and plans are being made to allow visitors to upload their own photography.

Jim Lanzone, CEO of Ask.com, said: "The new Ask.com is a complete redefinition of the search experience. It combines new interface and technology to help you get what you're looking for faster."

Other new additions include an image filter, where users can filter images in terms of size, colour and type, and a video filter, where videos can be searched filtered by Flash, QuickTime and RealPlayer.

The results panel features a binocular icon, allowing visitors to preview the web page before clicking on it, and informs the user of the size of the site, whether it has pop ups, and whether it is powered by Flash.

Myles Runham, Ask.com UK general manager, said: "Think of the new Ask.com as a one-stop shop, everything is laid out as it should be, all in one place, mapped out across a number of layers but with a floor plan that shows you where everything is as soon as you walk in."

Last year, Ask rebranded from Ask Jeeves, dropping its famous cartoon butler. The search engine recently rolled out a series of anonymous ads on the tube network and on TV, criticising the dominance of Google, and publicising a campaign website.

In its ad campaign, Fallon used guerrilla marketing tactics that were based on the premise that freedom of information is critical and that the public should break their internet "sleep searching" habits. As well as eight TV ads, the campaign comprises street stunts, graffiti, interactive outdoor and T-shirts.


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