Drop the Jeeves, it is now Ask.com

New website promises discounts for its users

In an attempt to draw traffic from web-based competitors, Ask.com will start a program that will benefit its loyal consumers.

The "AskPass" loyalty program will reward its frequent searchers with special benefits at several Web-based businesses owned by IAC/Interactive Corp; who bought the search engine (formerly askjeeves.com) last year and relaunched it this year with the new name, washingtonpost.com reported Feb. 28.

Among the company’s "web properties" are LendingTree, CitySearch, Ticketmaster, Match.com, RealEstate.com, Evite and Expedia.

"I think that it is absolutely great," said Andrea Nicole Cooper, a student at Loyola University.

The senior accounting major, who usually  the search engine as a last resort for research, said she might consider using it first because of the benefits.

"Knowing that they are offering special discounts," Cooper said. "I may use it move."

Aside from being "the glue [and] mortar" of several Web properties, "Ask Pass" is another way the search engine is trying to match two of its heavy competitors Google and Yahoo.

"[Google is]…more reliable [for] what you are looking for," said Alicia Frank, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Frank said she would "consider using it to see what kind of discounts they have and see if [it’s really to]…my advantage."

What sets Ask aside from other search engines, washingtonpost.com reported, are their tool options. Among them "was a mapping feature that provides walking and driving directions." It also has a tool box that can be customized by users who want to place links to their favorite Ask service on the homepage.

"If we were just doing what [other search engines] are doing, I would give up," Barry Diller, IAC chief executive, told the Washington Post. "I actually believe what we are doing with Ask’s tools is different enough to have a reason for being….I am making a bet that there is room for others."