Ask not what you can do for your search engine but what your search engine can do for you. Appologies to any John F Kennedy fans for the bastardisation and reversing of that famous quote.
Here is the full quote in full as an apology:
“And so, my fellow americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”
~John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, January 20, 1961
I’m a Google man, I’ve been using Google as my search engine for longer than I can remember, I like the simplicity of Google and I like the fact that it actually provides me with results.
Or at least I used to – until the Blogosphere rolled up, until Flickr, You Tube and Facebook joined the scene – now Google doesn’t really cut the mustard – its results page is limited at best and empty at worst.
Yes it delivers on results but there is nothing ‘value added’, there’s no meal deal, no fries with my veggie burger or shake with my wrap. And I like fries and shakes.
This is why I’m warming to Ask. OK so the results aren’t as good but the interface is pretty and it gives me French Fries on the side.
If I search for Jersey on Google I get a good set of results – I get Jersey Tourism, I get Jersey’s Wikipedia entry, I get the Jersey Government and I get Jersey Airport but thats about it on the first page (apart from a few adverts).
If I search for Jersey on Ask, ok the results aren’t as great but I still get Jersey Tourism, Jersey’s Government and a lot of Tourism related links but I get more as well.
I get links on the left to expand or narrow my search, I get a box at the top giving me the CIA factbook info on Jersey and a combination of photos, dictionary definitions and videos on the right.
OK so it is horribly American centric, even on ask.co.uk, compared to the More brit friendly Google although Google isn’t blameless. If I search Google News for Jersey I get New Jersey or Sports Jersey – little about ACTUAL Jersey.
There are Good and Bad sides to both sites but at the moment Ask is winning. Especially given, with a single click I can restrict the Ask results to UK sites only – thus giving me a BETTER set of results than Google.