Oakland (CA) - Still clinging to life in the search engine arena, Ask.com today unveiled a new slate of visual and functional updates to its search platform.The new Ask.com home page has a search box that looks much like Google, but instead of text links for image, news, and local searches, it has associated icons. Users are also able to customize the main site by choosing from one of numerous skins.
The search results are where the biggest difference is. A basic web search is replaced by three panels of results. On the left panel are suggested searches to refine the results, on the right are previews of image, city, and shopping results, and in the middle are the main results.
Additionally, a new video search on Ask.com lets users see results in the form of video clip thumbnails. Users can then preview the videos by holding the cursor over the thumbnails.
Ask.com holds roughly 5% of the search engine market share, according to ComScore, putting it behind Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL.