1. Computing

Ask.com

How to Search with Ask.com

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What is Ask.com?

Ask.com, or just Ask, is a crawler-based search engine with lots and lots of cool features. Ask also is the parent company of such notable Web destinations as Ask for Kids, Bloglines, and Teoma, which is the underlying search technology for Ask's search.

Ask Home Page

The Ask home page is streamlined, and simple - but don't be fooled by the simple interface, you have a LOT of search options here.

In addition to the standard Web search, you can also search for images, news, maps, local search, weather, encylopedia listings, blogs and feeds, and more. You can see all these options in the Search Tools window directly to the right of the main search bar. If you click "More", you'll get even more Ask search goodies: Advanced Search, Bloglines, currency conversion, desktop search, mobile content, movies...it just keeps going! This is a serious search engine user's dream come true.

How to search with Ask

One thing that Ask.com (formerly Ask Jeeves) was famous (or infamous, depending on how you want to look at it) when they first started out was the ability to search in "natural language", or in non-searchese, the ability to search in the same language that you would ask a friend, such as "am I wearing pants?" (and hopefully, the answer to this particular query would be "yes".).

Ask doesn't promote the natural language bit as much anymore, but they still have a few searching tips that are good guidelines to keep in mind when searching with Ask.

For one thing, "Ask.com's search technology responds to questions, phrases, or single word searches"; a handy tip to remember. So any of these queries would work successfully:

  • "car rentals Wyoming"
  • "car rentals"
  • "where can I find ford car rentals in wyoming?"

Ask Searching Shortcuts

You can go ahead and use Ask to find something on the Web, but the good folks at Ask have already done a lot of the legwork for many of the more popular searches for you. For instance, here's just a few of my favorite search shortcuts:
  • Conversion Calculator: My query for "mile to yards" got an instant answer with more suggested conversions on the far right.
  • Dictionary: Preface the word you want defined with "define", "definition" or "meaning of" whatever word you want.
  • Famous People Search: Simply type the name of whatever famous person you are searching for. My search for "dylan thomas" came back with many results for both the singer and the poet, I was able to choose from narrowed search results, poetry selections,and related names.
  • Product Search: "Find products based on reviews, features, price, and store location."

This Ask.com search engine profile is continued on page two.

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