Officially Not A Search Engine, Maybe The Return Of Jeeves? has been fighting an uphill battle for some time.  While other IAC assets have grown (ie., Ask has been struggling.  The algorithm game is over... in fact, you can argue that no one is going to "out Google Google". will become a meta search engine and work to monetize traffic using other unique products including Q&A.  For years now there have been three levels of quality traffic sources:

Tier 1:  Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft
Tier 2:, Looksmart, Lycos, ChaCha and others
Tier 3:  Everyone else

The winners in the space will figure out how to acquire traffic, develop a unique set of relevant products and services and build buzz around them.  Wrap this approach with traffic quality control (ie. Click Forensics) and a solid monetization platform and you can build a company.  Trying to stay in the algoritm game is a losing proposition.  Don't believe me?  Ask the butler...

Ask JeevesFrom Search Engine Roundtable: announced very sad news yesterday, they are letting go 130 hard workers due to a change in their strategy. That change is they will no longer index the web and will focus on being a question and answer engine. They are closing down the Edison, N.J. and Hangzhou, China offices, where their web search teams are based.

Yes, over a hundred people are losing their jobs and it is also sad to see another player fall in the search space - but ultimately, I agree, this is the right move for

Doug at wrote a pretty honest post at the Ask blog about this. I think it is worth a read and I appreciate his honesty.

To me, I am not surprised - I am sad, sad to see so many good people lose their jobs and sad to see a potentially good Google competitor go. But it is the right move. The story headlines found on Techmeme range from IAC's Barry Diller Surrenders to Google, Ends's Search Effort and Gives Up On Search, Hangs Its Hopes On Q&A. But Danny's title was much more soft, To Focus On Q&A Search, End Web Crawling.

The only good thing I can see from this is that Jeeves might come back to the US? As you know, he has been back in the UK for a while now. So maybe he will return to the US, since the strategy is no longer search. I hope so.

I am sad, but like I said, I felt was dead for a long long time now. So it is good for them to move on and focus on things they can do right