Search engine ask.com has introduced Ask Deals, a new aggregation service that combs through a proprietary database of over 1 million offers and discounts from local and national businesses and presents relevant online shopping deals right in search results via a new “Deal$” tab. The idea is to eliminate the tedium of searching the Internet for the best online shopping deals this holiday season; users can also share coupons and deals with friends through social networking services like Facebook and Twitter.
“In a tough economy and with the holidays approaching, Ask Deals arrives at just the right time for consumers as a one-stop shop for value,” said Ask Networks president Scott Garell, in a statement. “It’s the answer our users are looking for, too, since searches for coupons on Ask have shot up almost 50 percent in 2009.”
The Ask Deals proprietary database claims to collate deals from millions of online promotions, store circulars, and top coupon sites. The technology also claims to scour user-generated content on forums, message boards, and blogs to find deals that might slip under the radar of other services.
Ask Deals could be a boon for Ask.com, which (with AOL) has perpetually been an “also-ran” in the Internet search engine game behind Yahoo and Google—according to comScore it ranked #4 with a 3.9 percent share behind Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft in August. If Ask.com can gain traction as a place for consumers to save money, some of those users might adopt Ask.com for other Internet searches, which would increase usership and the amount of revenue the company earns from online advertising.