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July 2, 2008

Search Headlines – R.I.P. AskCity

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Ask.com Kills AskCity, Continues To Disappoint

I has a story.

My best friend from high school is a giant Google fanboy. I was once convinced that one of his favorite pastimes is to search for juicy Google news and then IM me the link surrounded by smiley faces and mocking emoticons. He did it because (a) he knew I was a diehard Ask.com fan and (b) he’s an arrogant jerk. Still, successfully baited I would immediately call him and list off all the reasons why Ask was superior to Google, even if I was the only person in the world smart enough to realize it. And top on my list was always how Ask was schooling the industry with Ask City and their awesome mapping technology. Well, no more.

Today, Barry Schwartz poked an already broken heart announcing that Ask.com Drops Map Product & Outsources to Microsoft Virtual Earth. What? But Ask’s technology was totally superior to Microsoft’s. I know Ask is focusing on its “core audience” of “people looking for research, entertainment and hobby information”, but surely some of those people have a really bad sense of direction, don’t they? Or did Ask City really get no traffic? Personally, I know I used it a lot. It was my default mapping service because I loved being about to interact with Ask City and creating customized maps to explain things to my mother. And now it’s dead. It really just kills me to see Ask abandoning everything their real core users (not the made up kind) used to love about them. I just don’t know what they’re thinking.

I know what it makes me think, though: Ask is dead.

Should You Hire Two SEO Companies?

Lee Odden posed an interesting question yesterday, asking Should Companies Hire Multiple Search Marketing Firms to get the best results? I can honestly say that approach had never even crossed my mind before yesterday. And now that I have imagined it…OMG world’s biggest headache!

I’ll agree where there are instances where this may work, but for most companies, trying to bring in two different search engine optimization teams to do the same job is going to turn into an unfocused fail. Adding additional hands to a project isn’t how you get optimal results; it’s how you’d get a really nerdy bar fight to emerge as SEOs battle to the death over appropriate link strategies, which on-page optimization techniques to employ and who gets to go to which SEO conferences in the name of “research”.

I simply don’t think it’s wise to decentralize and defocus your search engine optimization efforts. Spend the time researching SEO companies and find the one whose priorities and tactics align with your own. That’s how you’re going to run a successful SEO campaign. You want one team working to build a consistent strategy. There may be more than one way to boil an egg, but that doesn’t mean you want to be doing them all at the same time.

Fun Finds

ReadWriteWeb brings back the “is email in danger” conversation but adds a new social networking twist.

TechMeme is all aflutter with reports about Microsoft and Yahoo. Please don’t make me write about it.

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One response to “Search Headlines – R.I.P. AskCity”

  1. Arthur Freydin writes:

    Yea, I read Lee’s post yesterday and I really don’t know where he got that idea. Some ridiculous client might have asked him if that makes sense. Or, more realistically, he may have stumbled on another SEO firm employed by his own, current client.



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