I nearly choked on my Pho when I saw this article in Technology Review:
Ask.com … will instead focus on a narrower market consisting of married women looking for help managing their lives. […] The decision to cater to married women primarily living in the southern and midwestern United States comes after Ask spent years trying to build a better all-purpose search engine…
I guess Ask figures it may still be an uphill battle to unseat properties like Epicurious and MarthaStewart.com, but at least it’s a smaller hill than the one Google’s sitting on. I dunno, sounds like a dubious strategy shift.
Update: this Fortune article claims it’s all a big misunderstanding
The Ask representative said that reports of the site becoming oriented towards older women are false and were fueled by an erroneous Associated Press article that has since been changed. Ask acknowledged that married women do compose a lot of its core users and these matronly queries are often dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia type queries – as well as categories like health and entertainment.
“Matronly queries” — now that’s a phrase that doesn’t come up very often.
Posted in The Web (2.0 and otherwise)