Ask Jeeves launches 'binocular' search preview tool

LONDON - Ask Jeeves has launched four new 'smart' search tools as the company continues to improve the relevance of its results to compete with big guns: Google, MSN and Yahoo!.

The new tools include 'binoculars', an option that allows surfers to roll over an icon to view a preview of the site behind a search result. The tool has already been applied to the most popular results in certain categories and will be rolled out across Ask's search listings as the company's storage capacity increases.

Tony Macklin, director of product at Ask Jeeves, said that, in the US, research had found the new tool had reduced the number of clicks needed for users to find the result they were looking by up to 50%.

The company has also introduced a more sophisticated system for its "related searches", which provide options for surfers to search on specific topics within their original search.

The two other tools are a dedicated solution for getting information on new films and a dictionary search for finding word definitions.

Macklin said: "What we're trying to do with each of these [tools] is make search smarter and more intuitive and help make it easier for you to find precisely what you're looking for."

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