I’m busy finishing my presentation for a panel on search engine user behavior later this afternoon at SES. But I wanted to chime in, as many others have already done, on the new Ask.com. The IAC-owned search engine has rebranded and changed its interface to be simpler and graphically more appealing. (Barry Diller spoke this a.m. at SES, which I missed because I was stuck in traffic for 2 hours from JFK.)
Ask has vertically arrayed (no pun intended) all the different specialized content and structured search areas, including local. Interestingly, this approach makes them more prominent than they were in the old "horizontal" navigation scheme.
Ask gained a tiny amount of market share, according to some of the numbers, over the course of the last year. We’ll see if the new interface and the new brand will further boost usage of the engine. So far, I like what I see visually.
Here’s more detail from Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Journal.