Business Software

Ask.com Tries to Help Buyers Find Discounts, Coupons

Ask.com's search engine can now find coupons and product discounts, a new capability the company believes will attract new users, especially with the approach of the holiday shopping season.

The new set of results will begin to appear on Tuesday, once Ask.com flips the switch on Ask Deals, which it describes as a "proprietary database" containing more than 1 million special sale offers from myriad merchants.

People will see these new results when they enter queries on the main Ask.com page that the search engine determines are geared toward finding deals on products.

Ask.com is also adding a specific tab labeled "Deals" for people who only want to see results from the Ask Deals index. The company will continually refresh the database by crawling coupon sites, online stores, social networks and social media sites.

With Ask Deals, the company, an operating business of IAC, sees an opportunity to simplify the way people seek coupons and sales promotions online, a process that can be erratic and time-consuming, said Scott Garell, Ask Networks president. "We're aiming to make this easier for users," he said.

In addition to providing these "deals" results, Ask.com will also suggest variations on queries that might help people refine their searches, Garell said.

Ask.com's Ask Deals index is compiled organically and impartially by crawling the Web and through automated feeds from major coupon sites, meaning that vendors don't pay for inclusion nor placement of their offers, he said.

Ask Deals search listings can be shared from within the Ask.com interface on major social networks and social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg.

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