Today Ask Jeeves is set to launch two new updates to their search engine. Both updates aim to improve user experience and allow for searchers to find what they need faster.

“Zoom” offers suggestions broken down into three categories: Narrow Your Search, Expand Your Search, and Related Names. Suggestions from the Narrow Your Search category help you quickly focus your search without having to perform any additional steps. Expand Your Search provides broader topics related to the original search. Expanding a search is an easy way to figure out the topic’s broader context. “Zoom” almost feels like an information mind map – concepts are separated by relation so single queries now have context.

“Web Answers” is an update on Ask Jeeves’ answering tool. “Web Answers” provides answers directly from regular web pages. By mining unstructured data instead of using editors or structured databases, Ask Jeeves can answer more queries that previously possible. Web Answers are displayed at the top of organic search results and the answer is highlighted in context within the web page.

Chris Sherman of SEW reminds us that searchers still need to be careful when using “Web Answers”. Since these answers are coming from regular web pages, the content maybe false or satirical in nature.

Both “Zoom” and “Web Answers” are big innovations – keep an eye on Ask Jeeves, they aren’t out of the game yet.

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