Ask.com - Jeeves is back, but you'll still use Google
We've got Google and we'll no doubt become acquainted with the real-time search capabilities of Twitter, should the often-rumoured Google/Twitter deal ever occur. But what about the rest of the search engines out there? We've just checked and Alta Vista still exists. Remember them? And AOL appear to be still in business, too. The battle for search has been won, though - Google accounts for 90 per cent of all requests, leaving the dozens of other pretenders to scrat about for the remaining ten per cent.
Ask.com are gagging for it, so much so that they've undergone yet another re-brand today, reverting to the character they scrapped three years ago to save them. Because what the technologically-crazed 21st Century world needs is the reassuring hand of a century-old valet ripped from the fiction of P. G. Wodehouse.
The site dropped Jeeves in 2006 to concentrate on portraying Google as some totalitarian overlord and Ask.com as the underground resistance. Or some such bollocks, anyway:
Two years later the marketing team realised they'd be set on fire for what they'd done, and so dropped the radicalised adverts and tried a simpler approach, as in a handheld camera filming a computer screen, and a bit of shiny Ajax code to jazz up what otherwise looked like Google.
That was just six months ago. Gotta love those marketing boys and girls. The company is now aiming to concentrate on delivering search results specific to questions asked by users, and create subtle but distinct difference between itself and Google, although there have been whispers that Ask.com have in the past used Google for their search results. You'll still use Google regardless. Game over.