Is Ask Jeeves focusing on the Long Tail?

Most expert searchers would like Teoma to do much better in the Search Engine Market than it does. Technically it has some great strengths. However Ask Jeeves, the ‘parent’, still is vigorously pursuing a multi-brand policy using all of its various search properties that few may have heard of. When did you last use Iwon or Excite, for example? Obviously some do since they all get traffic.

If you’re in to that current ‘Long Tail’ theory, then you might think that supports a policy of trying to be all over the map. I belong to a different school. In this case, the fact that Ask Jeeves has the Ask.com domain is the jewel in the crown. If you’re trying to catch the three front runners in the search engine race, what better horse to ride than ‘Ask’. However in multiple forums, the multi-brand policy has been defended.

Now we have what might have been seen as an end-run by AJ in acquiring Bloglines and thus moving in to the whole RSS newsfeed blogosphere. The only concern is whether AJ really understood what it was getting. As Ken Leebow amusingly pointed out:
By the way, Bloglines is a miserable search engine — for blogs or the Web. If you want to search the blogosphere, Technorati is ready, willing and able.
Bloglines contains only those entries that are submitted by its users. As a group of ‘editors’ I would suggest that they would compare very poorly with the Open Directory Project editors, who seem to get a lot of flak. If AJ wants to catch up, this will not give much benefit in that struggle.

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