Ask Jeeves Goes Local With Citysearch
Ask Jeeves is bolstering the capability of its Ask.com search engine to respond to queries that seek information about a specific geographic location.
Through a licensing deal with IAC/InterActiveCorp's Citysearch unit, Ask Jeeves's Ask.com search engine will serve up information on businesses located in a specific area. Thus, Ask.com will provide information on, for example, restaurants in New York City, museums in Philadelphia, parks in Chicago, or bars in Los Angeles.
Citysearch Supplies Data
The information will come from Citysearch, which specializes in this type of local business information. It will provide such basic data as business names and addresses, and also offer reviews and ratings created by Citysearch editors and users.
Ask Jeeves has just announced its partnership with Los Angeles-based Citysearch, and expects to start delivering this type of information either this month or in September, says Jim Lazone, Ask Jeeves' senior vice president of search properties.
Ask Jeeves doesn't plan to add a search tab for this type of local business information to its Ask.com search engine, Lazone says. Instead, it is making it part of its Smart Search technology, which is designed to let the search engine detect what type of information a user is looking for, he says. Thus, in this case, the search engine would deliver information about local businesses if it determines that's what the user is looking for, based on hints in the query, such as geographical or location terms.
Search Wars Continue
The search engines from rivals Google and Yahoo already let users search for businesses in specific locations.
Prior to this deal with Citysearch, Ask Jeeves already let users search for information tied to a particular area, such as maps, driving directions, weather, people search, and movies.
The deal with Ask Jeeves isn't exclusive, although it is the first time that Citysearch data will be served up from a third-party search engine as a result of queries, says Briggs Ferguson, Citysearch's CEO. Citysearch also has agreements with Microsoft's MSN Internet division and Yahoo to provide them with local-business content.