You have probably seen one the new, and sometimes strange, TV commercials promoting with the “its the algorithm” campaign. However with all the new marketing hype about the interface, search features, and algorithm, I have yet to meet anyone who uses as their primary search engine. So I decided to give it try and spend a week using only to search the Internet.

For me a week with Ask is a week without Google. Google has been my primary destination for search since I first heard about it from Leo Laporte on TechTV. I use Google on a daily basis (via so the challenge is really two fold. The first challenge is go without the familiar and reliable (Google) and the second challenge is learn a new way doing things (

Last Sunday began my week with Here is my daily log of things I liked (+) and disliked (-) about the experience.

Daily Log

Day 1 – Sunday

Day 2 – Monday

Day 3 – Tuesday

Day 4 – Wednesday

Day 5 – Thursday

Day 6 & 7 – Friday & Saturday

The Results

Overall I found 7 things that I liked (+) and 20 things that I did not like (-).

The biggest like would have to be the link to related products in the one box results. For example I did a search for a printer and under the product results was a related link for toner for that printer.

The biggest dislike is a tie between small search box in the left column and the quality of search results. The search box was the most annoying when I was typing in it and the search results were most annoying the rest of the time.

When I started the week I really thought the differences in user experience would be minimal. I tried my best to keep an open and positive attitude toward However, by Day 4 I was really frustrated by the results I was getting, so much so that I started to dread even doing a search. On Day 7 I had to troubleshot an issue with a wireless router and after struggling far too long with to find some much needed info to help resolve the problem, I cut the week short and went back to Google. (FYI, found the needed info in a couple of minutes.)


After all of this what do you think I’m going to recommend? I recommend that you try it for yourself, for a day, without changing your normal searching habits and see how you like it. People search in different ways and is definitely a different search engine. Try it for yourself at

3 Responses

  1. Thanks for laying out this experiement so well.

    My first real consistent choice of search engines was Hot Bot. Google has been my choice for a long time now. Those commercials from got me to give them a chance. I have only found one use for Ask that I still use. Sometimes when looking for something I can get the answers I need by putting the search phrase into more of a questioning sentence form. Ask gives me the results I need in that respect. I can put the same phrase in Google and not get as good of a return.

  2. Thanks for sharing this information. It will come in handy for those of us who aren’t search savvy. Now I know not to waste my time there.

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