Ask.com gives up on search business

Switches to Q&A plan and cuts 130 jobs in N.J., China

Long the also-ran in the search market , Ask.com announced on Tuesday that it is getting out of the search business.

The Oakland, Calif.-based company is switching gears and will focus on building out its online question-and-answer service, where people take customers questions, said Doug Leeds, president of Ask.com, in a blog post .

The company will also be laying off 130 employees, most of whom are engineers, and closing offices in Edison, N.J. and Hangzhou, China, said Valerie Combs, a spokeswoman for the company.

Ask.com will outsource its search technology, but Combs wouldn't say which company might take over that work for them.

"We know that receiving answers to questions is why Ask.com users come to the site, and we are now serving them in everything we do," Leeds wrote. "Unfortunately, this absolute focus means that we need to stop investing in things outside of providing users with the best answers..."

The company has fallen behind in the increasingly competitive search arena . Just last month, online researcher comScore reported that Ask.com was in fourth place in the U.S. search market behind third-place Microsoft Bing and second-place Yahoo . It's well behind the market leader Google .

According to comScore's numbers, Ask.com had 3.7 per cent of the search market in September. Google had 66.1 per cent.

Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, said he was not surprised to see Ask.com drop out of the search fray. "It's kind of a shame too because they had a nice brand and should have appealed well to older Internet users," he said.

"Their market share had dropped into the noise and I imagine there will be more people surprised that they are still around...," Enderle said. "The days of there being a lot of search engines are over for now."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftinternetGooglesearch enginesComScoreAsk.comInternet Search

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?