Created in 1995 in an attempt to humanise online searching by using Natural Language Processing to allow questions to be asked of the internet in the same terms as they would be asked of a person.
Ask Jeeves is a search engine, listing results from other databases. Its primary results are from Teoma, which it owns. Sponsored links are supplied by Espotting, Overture and Mirago.
A few years ago Ask retired Jeeves and an on-line vote was held as to where he would be spending his retirement. Several options were available, including a tropical island. Unfortunately for Jeeves, the retirement was short lived, and he is now back as the face of Ask.
In an attempt to gain market share from the large 3 search engines of Google, Yahoo! and Bing, Ask started to advertise on television in the UK.
Many search engine optimisation experts tried answering questions on their site to see if this helps with rankings and to date the results have been good.
It remains to be seen if the television commercials will bring long term success for the search engine.
Some commentators think that offering freephone numbers for people to call and leave feed back on may be a good way of Ask to track their marketing.
Using freephone numbers to check statistics and marketing responses is a relativity new phenomenon. The rise in 0800 and 0845 number availability has meant that an ever greater number of companies are using these non geographic numbers, combined with the great reporting software that comes with the 0800 free phone numbers, allowing companies to track the success of their marketing.
If 0800 numbers and freephone number tracking was included in the Ask marketing they could quickly tell if it was a good idea to retire Jeeves or whether they should rapidly bring him back.