Check out the new Ask!

Ask.com (formerly Ask Jeeves) has just got sexy.

I have to give a round of applause to Ask for their new search layouts, and I firmly believe the new changes will have a great response from the online community.New Ask.com homepage

So what has changed?

Firstly Ask has added a new 'Skins' application to it's homepage where users can choose different images as the background rather than just a plain white background. Simple, but effective.

Secondly Ask has developed a way of displaying search results to rival Google's Universal Search. Take the screen grab below for example. A search for "jessica simpson" brings up her Wikipedia page with the main search results below.
Ask.com search results for Jessica Simpson
More interestingly are the left and right sidebars. Ask.com will also provide other search suggestions such as "jessica simpson songs" and also an Expand your search section which provides other details such as what films she was in and similar celebrities.

What I really like though is the right sidebar. Ask will provide image and video results where applicable and also any mentions of Jessica Simpson in online news or blog posts. The layout is much cleaner than Google's Universal Search and all the main information required is 'above the fold' - i.e. you don't have to scroll down to find more relevant information.

Ask may have a search engine market share of around 5% but I've got a feeling that might increase on the back of this new launch. Top marks.

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