Bill Hartzer

Ask.com Launches Ask3D

Ask.comhas unveiled Ask3D, a completely re-engineered and redesigned version of Ask.com. Ask3D includes powerful new search technology, an innovative three-panel design, and unique new features that give people what they need, faster. With the new version of Ask.com, people get the most relevant and customized information they need from the best range of content available, including videos and music clips, and makes it all immediately accessible on one page. Ask3D replaces the previous version of Ask.com and is now available at http://www.ask.com/.

Ask3D understands that no two searches are ever the same, therefore no two search result pages should be exactly alike. “Morph,” Ask3D’s new algorithmic content-matching and ranking technology, is the underlying technology that delivers the most relevant content for each search query, and places that content onto one single page. Morph chooses from content of all types, including Web pages, images, video, music clips and news, and transforms the page to each individual query.

Morph technology works in tandem with Ask.com’s unique ExpertRank algorithm, which determines the most relevant search results by identifying expert communities on the Web instead of simply displaying links by popularity. The combination of Morph and ExpertRank enables Ask.com to understand each person’s needs and provide them with what they want, faster.

Ask3D’s innovative three-panel design displays more customized results, taken from the best range of content available on the Web, all on one page. Representing the three dimensions of search, Ask3D’s panels include:

“Query Expression” in the left panel. This panel serves as the search “control panel,” where people can quickly refine their search without ever having to leave the page by offering automatic suggestions to help narrow, expand or find related search terms. This service, called

“Zoom Related Search,” is the number one most-used feature on Ask.com and relied on for more than 30 percent of all searches;

“Results” within the center panel. Here, people can find their primary search results with links to Web pages and immediately preview sites
directly from the results page by using an upgraded “Binoculars” feature, saving significant time and effort. Binoculars let people preview a Web page and are now 50 percent larger and faster than before. They also offer information such as the number of pop-ups on a given site, whether or not a site is Flash-based, and the amount of time it will take a site to load on a 56K connection. The top of this panel also shows the top Smart Answer, which provides quick snippets of information to help people get what they need, faster;

“Content” within the right panel. This panel provides people with valuable information that goes beyond standard links to Web pages. The right panel offers a wide variety of content including images, news items, blogs, weather, time, videos and music clips. People can even preview videos and listen to music clips, right from the results page. Where most other major search engines serve ads in this area, Ask3D delivers even more content and continues to offer the fewest number of ads on a page.

Ask3D offers additional new tools and features to make your search experience faster and easier:

— An All-New Homepage. Ask.com has a new homepage and offers customizable backgrounds that let people choose from a variety of designs to personalize their search experience. This summer, people will be able to upload their own images to customize their backgrounds even further. The new Ask.com also now features bold icons on the homepage to make it easier for people to search for specific content such as images, news and blogs. Additionally, Ask3D now offers search suggestions to help people more easily find what they need.

— See and Hear More, Right From the Results Page. People can now see video previews, listen to music clips, or even search through specific content such as images and news, all from the main results page. By simply hovering a mouse over video images, people can now preview video clips without having to navigate away from the page. People can listen to a music clip by simply clicking on the name of a song within the Ask3D results page. Also, Ask3D offers an image rollover feature, which enlarges an image so that people can see it in more detail.

— Location-Based Results. Ask3D now offers Smart Answer search results based on a person’s location. When people use Ask3D to search for “Starbucks,” they will see the locations nearest to them. When searching for “Gwen Stefani,” Ask3D lets people know when she is performing locally.

— Introducing Video Search. Now on Ask.com, people can find their favorite videos and preview clips right from the search results page. People can also filter results by video types, such as Flash, QuickTime and RealPlayer, or by length.

— Finding Images, Faster. With new filtering capabilities, people can now sort images by a wide range of categories including size, Buddy Icons, color, black and white and various media types.

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