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March 29, 2006

Never underestimate the power of monkeys

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John Battelle comments on a Bear Stearns report that uses comScore data to show Google’s continuing increase in its already overpowering market share. This time Google has climbed from 39.8 percent last year to a current 42.3 percent. But the interesting news coming out of this report isn’t that Google has gained another handful of percentage points (what else is new), but that newly redesigned Ask seems to be gaining both ground and momentum, increasing their market share by .7% since the end of last year’s fourth quarter.

It’s been hard to get away from Ask in recent weeks. The uniquely flavored engine has been all over radio and TV lately as part of an International media blitz that hopes to introduce users to Ask 2006 – the one without the butler (no, we’ll never let that go) and unique new search tools. The TV ads seem to be a hit among viewers who can’t get enough of the ‘un-evolved’ searchers antics. Personally, I like using the ads for a rousing game of I Spy, picking out all the different tools being used in the 30- or 60-second clips. Users get a glimpse of Asks binoculars and better search in action. For those living in a cave and haven’t seen them, Ask has posted their TV ads on their blog.

Analysts predict Ask’s market share will continue to grow as users being to familiarize themselves with all the engine has to offer. The report highlighted both Ask’s and Google’s recent percentage gains:

“Year-over-year, Google and Ask showed strong search query gain of 29.4% and 27.9%, respectively, while the other search providers in the top five declined. On a sequential basis, Google and Ask also showed the highest growth at 8.3% and 14.6% respectively.”

For Ask, it looks like a little re-branding and some monkey antics have gone a long way.

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