Hitwise. Such consolidation would put the venerable Ask.com in third place, with a mere 2.46%. That would mean that the next spot on the ladder will have 10X as much market share as Ask. That can't make the company happy.When the Microsoft/Yahoo search deal goes through, if Microsoft's Bing takes all of Yahoo's US search engine market share then it will be at 26% to Google's 70%, according to traffic analysts
Despite years of innovation, millions spent on marketing, a very logical domain name for search and relatively good brand recognition - Ask is still hurting.
A number of the search engine's features are among the best you'll find anywhere. It was integrating multimedia and succinct answers to question queries years before Yahoo and Google started dabbling in that kind of search response. Ask's Maps search has a great UI, its search privacy policies answered everyones' fears about their data in the hands of Google or AOL. Ask's blog search is nearly spam free and more sophisticated than almost any other blog search on the web.
And yet relatively few people care. It's hard to know why.
Another search engine company, real-time focused OneRiot, made a blog post this morning celebrating the Microsoft/Yahoo! deal as likely to dislodge the mental block most people have regarding Google as the only search engine option. They said the deal is going to lead to a better world for all of us, including for startup search engines. It's an interesting argument, but the enthusiasm seems a touch feigned and the conclusion hard to swallow.
At least OneRiot had something to say. Ask.com hasn't posted anything on its company blog in two weeks. It's been three months since the company said anything on its Twitter account. It's got to be hard being #3 right now.