Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 27, 2005
It’s a sad, sad season for P.G. Wodehouse fans. Jeeves, the smart butler from Wodehouse’s books, will soon be leaving search engine AskJeeves.com. Which will no longer be called AskJeeves.com. Barry Diller, whose IAC/InterActive Corp. acquired the site only a few months ago, has recently announced that the site will be renamed due to user confusion over what Jeeves is and can do.
To my mind, this is simply indicative of Diller’s confusion over what to do with AskJeeves.com. His company just spent $1.85 billion to purchase AskJeeves.com. The bulk of that must have paid for the brand name, AskJeeves.com — and that money is now going into the waste basket.
Diller is getting rid of Jeeves at the worst possible moment, just as competition among search sites has reached fever pitch, what with Google's aggressive moves and newcomers such as Baidu.com, the Chinese search engine.
What a waste of a wonderful book character! To me, Ask.com without Jeeves just doesn't have the same appeal. I wouldn't be surprised if the search site goes down in the ratings as a result.
Goodbye, Jeeves! And goodbye, AskJeeves.com's ambitions.