How the Loss of Ask.com Affects Online Search Engines

List: Posted: 01/28/11

When it comes to online search engines, it seems that web users will soon have one less name to add to the list.  Ask.com, long a popular question and answer website, is going to close up shop on its search engine feature.  While this certainly came as a surprise to many who worked for the company, the bigger surprise for many web users was that Ask.com had a search engine.  While many know the site for its popular human assisted Q&A feature, it seems that only those who fell prey to the Ask.com spyware laden toolbar ever really knew the search engine was still around.

When asked about why they were closing down the search engine, representatives from Ask.com said that intensifying competition from Bing and Microsoft was a factor and that other engines were already doing it better, so they wanted to shift their focus in one direction, the Q&A that made them famous.  This is certainly good news for Ask.com, which has long been taunted for having no clear or focused business strategy, but how does it affect other search engines?

The loss of another competitor will likely put a few more users in the hands of Google and Microsoft, but the impact in that area will be light.  The Ask.com search engine has not been among the most popular for some time now, and in the wake of its absence the biggest question of all is how many people outside of the industry will know that it is gone, or that it was ever really here to begin with.

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