The reborn Ask.com: good, not great

Ask.com (formerly Ask Jeeves) is spending a fortune on newspaper ads at the moment, because it wants you to use it instead of Google. It’s nicer than before and when the “binoculars” (a mouseover that displays a site preview) work, the whole experience is very clever. The search results seem pretty good, too.

I’m sticking with Google, though: Ask.com gives up far too much of the results page to adverts, so while the paid links on Google take up about 1/8th of the screen, Ask.com’s text ads take up roughly twice that amount. If Ask also decides to put up product search results, the amount of usable space falls further (try searching for “mac” and you’ll see what I mean).

A few extra lines of ads probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you use search engines throughout your working day that’s an awful lot of extra scrolling and clicking.