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Old 06-26-2004   #1
MUSCLE13
 
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Following the Ratings - Ask Jeeves Moving Up

Isn't it time Jeeves got some respect in the internet world? Heck they are beating Amazon and Interactive Corp every week in the Nielsen home ratings. And by a wide margin -


United States: Top 10 Parent Companies
Week ending June 14, 2004
Home Panel

Parent Name Unique
Audience
(000) Reach
% Time
Per
Person
Microsoft 55,275 51.42 00:32:30
Time Warner 49,424 45.98 01:24:44
Yahoo! 47,479 44.17 00:46:06
Google 24,964 23.22 00:08:29
eBay 16,100 14.98 00:39:21
Ask Jeeves 11,706 10.89 00:11:12
United States Government 9,608 8.94 00:11:06
InterActiveCorp 8,957 8.33 00:12:05
Amazon 8,163 7.59 00:10:21
RealNetworks 8,093 7.53 00:22:14

http://www.nielsennetratings.com/rep...y&panel_type=2
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Old 06-26-2004   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MUSCLE13
Isn't it time Jeeves got some respect in the internet world? Heck they are beating Amazon and Interactive Corp every week in the Nielsen home ratings. And by a wide margin
yes, but they are still being beat by an auction. granted that auction is ebay, but it is an auction site nonetheless.
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Old 06-26-2004   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seobook
yes, but they are still being beat by an auction. granted that auction is ebay, but it is an auction site nonetheless.
Many people consider eBay the best internet business that ever existed. It will be interesting to see if search does effect the auction business, and become the premier net business.
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Old 06-26-2004   #4
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Muscle; regarding ASK

I like Ask Jeeves and believe the business model is setting up the co. to be a player in the future of search. Think about it-- they only own about 7-8 percent of the search market right now. Teomas tech is argueably as good as Google's though not updated as often as it should be. I believe this will change soon.
MSFT wants natural language search in its own future---Jeeves is already there.
Demographics are key in search and all indications imply the rich female likes the Butler. Kids use the Butler.
The biggest problem ASK has right now is the perception among SEOs and search media commentators that the conversion rates are low. As the JeevesGuy on WMW pointed out last week this should change as they get rid of the frames. Their logs will reveal data that was not available before.
I truly believe as you do that the Butler is poised to shock the search world with increased popularity and inovations.
And yes they should buy Lycos in addition to a PPC platform.
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Old 07-02-2004   #5
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5 straight weeks at #6. We have a trend here

Nielsen Netratings

United States: Top 10 Parent Companies
Week ending June 21, 2004
Home Panel

Parent Name Unique
Audience
(000) Reach
% Time
Per
Person
Microsoft 55,702 52.24 00:33:22
Time Warner 48,998 45.95 01:31:30
Yahoo! 47,432 44.48 00:46:26
Google 24,634 23.10 00:08:26
eBay 16,499 15.47 00:39:51
Ask Jeeves 11,606 10.88 00:10:04
United States Government 9,923 9.31 00:10:39
InterActiveCorp 8,384 7.86 00:11:42
RealNetworks 8,273 7.76 00:23:43
United Online 7,949 7.45 00:35:01
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Old 07-16-2004   #6
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Look who is the Number 1 Gainer on the internet in June. Jeeves opening some eyes huh?

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040716/cgf014_1.html
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Old 07-19-2004   #7
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I've long been saying that Ask Jeeves/Teoma is the sleeper search engine to watch - search relevancy is impressive, and the quality of referrals, particularly in 'shopping' geared categories, is terrific.
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Old 07-19-2004   #8
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Maybe a little respect coming their way now Elisabeth. It boggles my mind how Jeeves has practically been ignored by the industry. They remind me of Google 4 years ago -

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...UGOJ7ME751.DTL

Last edited by MUSCLE13 : 07-19-2004 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 07-20-2004   #9
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Quote:
Maybe a little respect coming their way now Elisabeth. It boggles my mind how Jeeves has practically been ignored by the industry. They remind me of Google 4 years ago -
They've hardly been ignored. Back in 1997/8, the were the up-and-comer that Google was. They were lavished with press attention and praised as the next best most wonderful thing.

Unfortunately, they stumbled -- as they've readily admitted. They went on a long detour in purchasing Direct Hit, then not developing that technology properly.

If they have been ignored during those lean years, it's simply because they hadn't continued to earn the attention. Many other services were also ignored. Google wasn't, because Google continued to deliver.

Fortunately, Ask Jeeves has greatly improved over the past two years. The Teoma technology they purchased in 2001 has continued to get better, plus they're doing really smart things such as invisible tab work and Smart Search integration. As they continue to prove themselves, you'll see the press return with respect and attention.

Quote:
5 straight weeks at #6. We have a trend here
No, having watched these type of numbers over the years, looking at changes within a month can be misleading. You really aren't seeing a trend until the change stretches over three or four months.

Quote:
Look who is the Number 1 Gainer on the internet in June. Jeeves opening some eyes huh?
The figures are a bit misleading. That 150% jump is due to the fact that traffic from the Excite Network is now added to Ask Jeeves, because of the recent purchase by Ask Jeeves. Look at May 2004, and you'll see Excite ranked 9th and Ask ranked 22. Combined, they move much higher. Yep, both properties may have also seen some growth. But that giant jump isn't because suddenly the searching audience woke up and went in droves to Ask Jeeves. Instead, the June-to-July figure will give you better guidance.

Last edited by dannysullivan : 07-20-2004 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 07-20-2004   #10
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It's quite interesting to see how differently the two rookie stars of 1998-99 fared. Obviously worlds apart.

But given how many companies flamed out, it's also a credit to Ask Jeeves that they stuck around. I still ask myself why. Quality results are NOT THE ANSWER, or at the very least they're a small part of it. It's still about mindshare and stuff.

I'm also concerned about Nielsen Netratings' rather loose methodology here. I am quite taken with the comScore qSearch stats with their "share of searches" data month to month, which seems much more search-centric. Here, Jeeves may be in the high single digits due to acquisitions, but that could be the high water mark as the various secondary brands they own erode... unless...

they shake things up with some better/cooler natural language search tech, or some gimmicks/wizards that will really help people answer tough questions, as was the original promise!

Is it just me or does Jeeves seem like it's a profitable, smartly-run BUSINESS, but is in a holding pattern from the standpoint of search?

I would also like to know -- who *are* these people who still use Excite, iWon, MyWay, etc.?

Last edited by andrewgoodman : 07-20-2004 at 12:38 PM. Reason: minor edit
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Old 07-20-2004   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Webvisitor
... As the JeevesGuy on WMW pointed out last week this should change as they get rid of the frames. ...
Ask Jeeves is finally going to stop framing click throughs on search results? Now that is an improvement!

While Ask has the better branding AFAIK, I prefer Teoma's cleaner layout. Now if they would only start crawling more aggressively...
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Old 07-20-2004   #12
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Danny - I don't think you guys ignored Jeeves at all. I don't think you guys ignored Google either the last 5 years. The portal industry did. In fact the internet industry practically gave up on search in my opinion. It was considered a loss leader by the portals. Google was ignored and thats exactly why they won. Google knew how important search was when the rest of the internet industry big boys ignored it, until Yahoo finally woke up and started buying everything search. Now the whole industry laughs at Jeeves. iWon ha, MyWay funny, who uses Excite?, downloadable MySearch toolbars with Weatherbug??? What a joke!!!! Tomorrow will be the release of the weekly Netratings again and if Jeeves hits #6 again thats would be 8 straight weeks or 2 months. This is not the late 90s Jeeves. This is a whole new company. If Jeeves goes after Lycos they will have effectively consolidated the whole second tier of portals and will probably have more monthly unique users than Google itself. You think the industry will laugh then?
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Old 07-20-2004   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannysullivan


No, having watched these type of numbers over the years, looking at changes within a month can be misleading. You really aren't seeing a trend until the change stretches over three or four months.

Danny, before Jeeves bought ISH (Excite Network), ISH was in the top 10 in the weekly home users ratings for the previous 10 months and was in the top 10 daily users ratings for the previous 5 years going back to iWon's first year. You don't think thats a trend? No disrespect Danny but I am not in the industry and I recognize a force that your industry has ignored.
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Old 07-21-2004   #14
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Do you think I was laughing at Excite? I've followed the company for years and now, though, it's just a semi-revived brand under the confusing stewardship of Infospace, "ISH," and now Ask. (I don't keep up that well, sorry, since Excite isn't really a search engine. Last time I checked it was a flavor of Metacrawler. Infospace at one time ran four brands of metasearch. These are not insignificant properties but then again, their market share, as "share of searches," likely doesn't exceed 1-2% *combined*. Ask Jeeves/Teoma, not including their acquisitions, if you measure it on share of monthly searches, is somewhere around 5%. Let's not get carried away here.)

I'm not laughing at Excite, I'm trying to understand the usage pattern. The Netratings reports seem to lack credibility in comparison with comScore qSearch.

There is nothing all that stupendous about buying up a forgotten metasearch engine that has the brand name of a dead portal that used to actually run a real search engine. This makes Jeeves into a holding company, like Go2Net used to be before it merged with, uh, Infospace. It's still worth asking who is using Jeeves (or Excite) and why they would do so. I honestly don't know.

There is a little consolidation going on here, but probably more accurately there are a few well-run holding companies out there running multiple properties that each seem to be turning a profit for the time being.

Go2Net gave us Metacrawler and a host of interesting, little-known e-commerce companies and content plays. After they merged with Infospace, the team kept pursuing search, and it appears as if now some, but not all, of that has been sold to Ask Jeeves.

I will grant you that something interesting could happen if Jeeves tries to go after the portal market by reviving the Excite brand as a PORTAL, and buying Lycos to juice up the numbers a bit. But as Lycos, AltaVista, etc. already found out, #4 and #5 portals always lose (taking investors' money with them).

Probably the dismissiveness amongst observers comes from the fact that observers are passionate about search, and in properties like iWon and Excite, there is precious little of interest to a search expert. But I grant you, it is not just a search story but also a business story worth watching.
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Old 07-21-2004   #15
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As for usage stats for ISH, this is exactly the type of thing we need to dig deeper into. iWon always had great stats, and for a time would crow about their ascendancy into the top ten Internet properties.

That doesn't carry a lot of weight unless a more thorough analysis is done. If someone is logging in every day to check if they won something, well... big deal.

Lots of things are *popular*. Online gaming, contests, you name it. But if we get things too muddled together we're giving companies credit for leading the way in the "search" biz when they have little to do with search at all.
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Old 07-21-2004   #16
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I'm also concerned about Nielsen Netratings' rather loose methodology here. I am quite taken with the comScore qSearch stats with their "share of searches" data month to month, which seems much more search-centric. Here, Jeeves may be in the high single digits due to acquisitions, but that could be the high water mark as the various secondary brands they own erode... unless...
I agree Andrew, the Netratings score is based on how many unique indivduals visited any one of the parents web sites with the ranking period (usually one month) and thus reflects visits for email, messenger, etc, and to my mind does not reveal a companies true position with regard to search, since in these rankings one individual visiting once in a month to check email has the same ranking power as a searcher who conduts a thousand searches a month.
The Comscore results are more relevant IMO.
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Old 07-21-2004   #17
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Sorry Andrew I have read your site for years and I like it but I think you got just about everything wrong on the ISH deal. First Jeeves released the official search figures for ISH when they bought the company. ISH had 700 million searches in 4th quarter 2003 ( none of this from Excite because Infospace owns the Excite search box). Jeeves had about 680 million searches in that time period so ISH actually had more searches by a hair. The percentages according to the Jeeves announcement of the deal were about 3.5 % of searches for each company equalling approximately 7% of total searches. Berkowitz even said on the concall that the industry does not do a good job on measuring searches so Jeeves releases actual search numbers per quarter. Since Excite search is owned by Infospace, Excite is not the major part of this deal and the resources that Jeeves has will be thrown into developing ISH's bigger properties - My Way, My Search, iWon all of which get more traffic than Excite. All of this was talked about on the Jeeve's concall after the deal. A great question was asked by one of the analysts on the call about whether Jeeves was going to syndicate search through Maxonline - the ad network ISH owns that covers about 40% of the internet user base with 1500 affiliated content sites. I thought that was a fantastic idea and Berkowitz seemed to agree with the concept from his response. Downloadable apps also seems to be the future of search which the industry almost completely ignores. I mean who pays attention to smiley central with its my search toolbars? Nobody realizes how well ISH does at distribution and marketing. ISH had more searches than Jeeves according to Jeeves own numbers, and none of it included Excite!

Last edited by MUSCLE13 : 07-21-2004 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 07-22-2004   #18
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The looming battle ASK is setting up between OVER and Google for the paid content contract. In a recent interview Berkowitz hinted that while they are not yet ready to go it alone with MaxOnline it is an option for the future.

Another forgotten or at least not often mentioned fact is Jeeves desireable demographics. As I recall the key demographic Jeeves enjoys is the 40 year old female, upper middle class with a willingness to shop online. It must be the suave' butler. Ha

For what it's worth. My computer literate kids (under 14) have never "Googled" anything. For years now they say "Let's ask Jeeves". The Jeeves brand caught on in my home.
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Old 07-22-2004   #19
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8 straight weeks at #6 in home users

United States: Top 10 Parent Companies
Week ending July 12, 2004
Home Panel

Parent Name Unique
Audience
(000) Reach
% Time
Per
Person
Microsoft 53,393 51.89 00:33:27
Time Warner 47,537 46.20 01:27:25
Yahoo! 45,845 44.55 00:45:53
Google 24,121 23.44 00:08:20
eBay 16,098 15.64 00:44:37
Ask Jeeves 10,347 10.05 00:11:33
United States Government 10,029 9.75 00:11:17
RealNetworks 8,727 8.48 00:24:54
InterActiveCorp 8,510 8.27 00:12:00
Amazon 7,909 7.69 00:08:38

http://www.nielsennetratings.com/rep...y&panel_type=2

Incidentally Jeeves has also entered the top 10 in at work users. Maybe one day they will get some respect. I think they need Lycos.
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Old 07-23-2004   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewgoodman
I'm not laughing at Excite, I'm trying to understand the usage pattern. The Netratings reports seem to lack credibility in comparison with comScore qSearch.
I Agree Andrew, one of the things I don't like about using these numbers is it isn't search centric. Netrating I believe monitors users like they do for TV. Should an SEM care if someone is going to Yahoo to get email? No that isn't a search query it is skew. Same goes for any site that is potentially a default for the browser opening or any activity other than search.

That's why the info in the comScore qSearch is some of the best to use for SEM. I like to take the numbers and look at the logs, compare and identify weaknesses based on the marketshare they have and share of my referrals. If they are significantly lower or higher I may be finished or I may have lots more to do.
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