Ask Barry! Barry Diller Buys Ask Jeeves

Media Mogul Barry Diller’s IAC has agreed to buy the Ask Jeeves search engine for 1.85 billion dollars in a stock trade. IAC owns an extensive list of interactive propertiles including the Home Shopping Network, travel giant Expedia, CitySearch, and dating site Match.com.

This heats up the already very hot search engine war between the big three MSN, Google, and Yahoo not to mention Amazon’s A9 and other engines. In a statment released by IAC it’s clear Diller is taking aim directly at the other engines but most especially barking directly up Google’s tree.

We believe that in the future [Ask Jeeves] has the potential to become one of the great brands on the Internet and beyond, and by beyond we mean in wireless, in the search for anything on any device -Barry Diller

For quite some time it’s been clear from the Google mission and their acquisitions, tools and services that they see their role extending far beyond traditional search and web-based technology to the more general information accessibility. In fact the Google mission which is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” is simultaneously focused and broad allowing them to adapt to changes and developments in technology and the environment while still reaming true to their objective.

Ask Jeeve’s which previously purchased TEOMA and recently purchased blog aggregator Bloglines is Cleary preparing to do battle. How the new search engine war will pan out remains to be seen but it’s clear that the race is on and getting more complicated every day.

Changes In Google Rankings And Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

For several months I’ve noticed changes in website rankings on Google and it was clear something had changed in their algorithm. The Google change has been a major topic among internet and search engine professionals. Google regularly updates their algorithm and each time they do you can be sure to find a great deal of discussion and speculation over the change.

A quick review of major search engine sites, forums and publications like Search Engine Watch will give you a little insight into what might be happening.

One of the most important changes is the likelihood that Google is now giving more weight to Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). This should come as no surprise considering Google purchased Applied Semantics in April 2003 and has reportedly been serving up their AdSense ads using latent semantic indexing.

One key benefit to LSI in the field of document retrieval is that you wouldn’t have to search using the exact same key word(s) associated with a document to retrieve it but synonyms would work as well.

If you’re interested in more details check out thelist of LSI sources on Search Engine Watch .