View Full Version : Ask.com Binoculars - is the hype for real?
05-31-2006, 05:22 PM
Personally I love the feature, but don't see any trend in following by google etc...
The increase in clickthrough legitimacy seems to be awesome (50-70%) apparently.
What's the deal? Is this a new tool that really helps, or one which further appeases the click-and-go user (or in this case see-mini-version and go?)
If this has already been dealt with I would be grateful if you could give me thread link?
05-31-2006, 06:07 PM
Yes - it is a nice feature actually, isn't it?
It's just clever use of AJAX technology to achieve what's becoming popularised as Web 2.0. That is, improving a users experience on a site through making better use of available technology to enhance the user experience in a useful, not just cosmetic, manner.
In this case, I imagine it's easier to find a site that looks like it's worth exploring because you can see it before you ... er... see it.
Presumably Jeeves forgot to take his website photo album with him when he left with the maid? hehe
05-31-2006, 06:21 PM
Poor maid... but really, after the marketing spend to legitimise Jeeves, and the effort in conveying his 'personality' and thus the personal touch - what happened...?
Al says he has merely been 'erased' I think that sends more shivers up my spine than He's dead ;-)
Any heads-up on why now ask.com as opposed askjeeves.com? the butler was a cool innopvative idea that was followed through at some cost? why the rebranding?
Just curious and thanks for the reply BSolveIT - both of them...
05-31-2006, 06:22 PM
and then again... what about any following of this Bino-Trend by the other big guys - who apparently are not going to run off with the maid?
05-31-2006, 06:54 PM
I have to say - your asking some great discussion questions here.
Ask did actually do a press release a few months ago saying that after extensive market research last year, they discovered that the butler image was confusing to the majority of the users they wanted to appeal too. They simply 'didn't get it' ? Makes you wonder what demographics they are trying to appeal to though, eh?
The AJAX technology was brought to us by Microsoft. Specifically, it's the httpRequest object that they opened up to the browser. It allows you to make off page calls to either the local or remote servers, either with or without xml or remote web services. Although, when calling remote pages, there is a security issue that you have to negotiate, that can be easily bypassed using server proxy scripts.
Anyway, it's another REALLY good hot topic question your posing. What the heck are the other 'big players' doing?
Well, Google has actually been doing more with it than anyone else for quite some time, although it's not instantly obvious. An example though is Google Maps. Thats an AJAX application. It retrieves the map images at the point where you need them, without the need to reload the page. The point being, and I realise some people struggle with the difference here, they don't attempt to load anything into the page that you don't need yet - and don't leave the page when they do it anyway. Um... did that makes sense?
Moving along, Microsoft has beta programs running for a host of ajax enabled applications, including hotmail live. You might have been invited to sign up for that recently?
Again, the benefit of it is (and this is just 1 example) that you can preview mail without having to open it in a new window or refresh the page. Using AJAX it's opened when you highlight it - more like the typical client server apps we're all used too. The net benefit being a faster, smoother experience.
We use ajax in our own development projects extensively. But, only another developer with an eye for detail would realise what must be going on. Personally, I think thats key. If the user can't tell you've even done anything - you've probably got the balance just right between design, function, and useability.
Yahoo!, as we've probably all noticed this week and last, is getting set to relaunch their portal and Yahoo! Search. I've not seen much of it yet, but from what I have seen - it doesn't look like there's anything particularly new in their offering. At one point, I actually thought I was looking at Google.
of all of them, it's actually MSN that interests me most. They've got so many 'LIVE' beta programs going on. They really are going for it in a big way - trying to improve the users experience, as opposed to getting extra clever with their algorithms. In fairness, if they aim to take a bigger share of the search market away from Google, it's probably the only way they'll manage it.
Lastly, and with respect to the bit about MSN, did you know that Google expressed concerns to the US antitrust authority over the default search in IE7 being set to MSN? Google themselves feel it's giving MSN an unfair advantage. hehe. The concern was dismissed though.
All juicy stuff!!
05-31-2006, 08:06 PM
Hey there! Wow awesome answer - am printing to read at my leisure - I can't begin to pretend what I'm not ;-)
'somebody' mentioned the 'trend' liklihood that Google would be caught up in a legal battle on adwords as opposed to organics etc as regards restraint of trade, proliferation of information and (NB as far as my little understanding goes) on monopolisation. I have read up on the facts I can get my hands on, and from a legal point of view see no reason for google to be penalised.
I am also basing my assumptions on my freeminded point of view. Mine anyway... Bearing in mind my site is still crawling out of the proverbial 'sandbox'... Likie I said - I'm learning, and this is part of how...
So again, any further thoughts on Binos (Ask) or on what's happening in the legal world. I'm curious ;-)
06-01-2006, 03:20 AM
Hmmm... I see what your getting at. The trend being that anyone that gets that big and important, has got to be reigned in. I think it's inevitable that any organisation that makes it so firmly to the top of the food chain as Google have in their market place, becomes a target.
It's a problem I think I would love to have... if only! hehe
Google is involved in a large number of legal actions at any one time. The US Justice Department is after them at the moment because they feel that Google are manipulating their organic results in order to give people no choice but to use adwords if they are to get Google traffic to their sites.
On the other hand, they are involved in a class action law suit over their handling of click fraud - or the lack of handling. I actually got an email myself asking if I would like to participate in the action because I was using adwords during the periods they've specified in the action. I declined.
For the latest info on this sort of thing, I think your best bet is to subscribe to a few good RSS feeds relating to 'Search Engine News'.
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