Last week it was rumored that there would soon be some big shake-ups over at IAC’s Ask.com, including layoffs and the possible abandonment of Teoma, the technology that powers Ask’s search engine. Today a source indicated that the rumor that Ask would be ditching Teoma was incorrect, however did not dispute or even comment on the other rumor involving layoffs. Ask has not commented on either of the rumors.
Silicon Alley Insider had suggested they’d be getting rid of Teoma, and instead switching to Google-backed search, but the source who spoke with media said that that’s just not the case. Ask has had many engineers working on their unique search technology, and has spend millions of dollars on advertising their search experience. Abandoning Teoma now would be like giving up, and considering the time and money they’ve invested in it, it just wouldn’t make sense.
But for all that Ask has spent advertising their search, they still remain a second-tier search engine. Google, Yahoo, and MSN Live all top Ask. Despite a more aggressive marketing campaign and expansion of services, Ask just can’t seem to make a dent, so honestly, whether now or later, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see them make some changes. For now, it appears that that change might just be laying off some of their workforce.