Ask Adds New Features

John Battelle reports that Ask Jeeves has added two new features: one that offers related searches, while the other attempts to algorithmically answer direct questions.

The first feature, called Zoom, shows related searches, with the added twist of classifying them as expanding or narrowing your search, as though zooming in or out on the internet. In this example, a search for the Beatles offers to narrow the search to “Beatles lyrics”, “Beatles songs”, and “Members of the Beatles”, while additionally offering to expand the search to “Beatlemania”, “Woodstock”, or the “Vietnam War”.

The expanded answers are similar to Google’s Q&A, trolling the web for answers to your questions and offering the answers at the top of the results with a [Web Answers] tag. In John’s example, the search for “deadliest snake” has a web answer that says “Australias inland Taipan snake is the worlds deadliest snake.” and offers three additional web answers behind a link.

The fun search? “Who killed JFK?

  • Lee Harvey Oswald was the killer of JFK
  • JFK was killed by a lone, demented assassin
  • jfk was killed by a conspiracy and that he had been maneuvered into killing Oswald who was a fall guy
  • JFK was killed by a conspiracy. The anti-Castro Cubans killed him.
  • JFK was killed by a tiger, or who believes that the CIA is using thought-control microwaves on them
  • JFK was killed by a mafia conspiracy
  • JFK was killed by the Cubans or the Mob

It bears mentioning that IAC’s Barry Diller recently noted that AskJeeves might be getting a name change, to make it shorter and easier to remember.

May 26, 2005 by Nathan Weinberg in:

One Response to “Ask Adds New Features”

  1. Greg Linden Says:

    Ask Jeeves Web Answers

    Ask Jeeves just launched Web Answers, a service similar to Google Q&A that tries to isolate the direct answer to a query from the other…

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