What Is Ask.com?

This search engine has changed a lot since Ask Jeeves

Ask.com (also called Ask and Ask Jeeves) is a search engine. When you search with it, it aggregates results from other search engines to display a list of answers. Ask.com also functions as a video search engine for locating YouTube videos.

Person using Ask.com on a “bondi-blue” iMac from the ‘90s
Lifewire / Mary McLain

The website used to have a question-and-answer platform where visitors could get answers from real people, but has dropped many of its options over the years and now is an extremely simple search engine with few features.

You can use Ask.com much like you can any search engine: type something into the search box to get a list of results.

Ask.com Features

The Ask.com website is extremely bare, which could be a good thing if you're familiar with other search engines that have an overwhelming number of options. There are three primary features of Ask.com:

Home Page

The home page has a few categories of articles hosted on Ask.com: Culture, Travel, and Entertainment. You can select any of them to browse through the articles.

Ask.com website home page

The Entertainment page has a few subcategories where you can find content about music, movies, TV, and celebrities.


When you type something into the search bar, you're defaulted to the Ask.com Answers page. This a list of results related to your query along with related searches off to the right.

Ask.com answers search results

As you scroll down the list of Ask.com results, you might see similar questions related to your initial search. The top few results are included there.

Ask.com similar questions

One thing Ask.com was famous for when they first started out was the ability to search in "natural language", such as in the same language that you would use with a person.

Ask doesn't promote the natural language bit as much anymore, but like most modern search engines, you can type a number of ways for similar results. For example, these queries would all work successfully:

  • Wyoming car rentals
  • Car rentals in Wyoming
  • Where can I find ford car rentals in Wyoming?


Video searching is available with Ask.com, too. Select Videos at the top of the results page to see YouTube results without ever leaving Ask.com. Selecting a video will even display it right there in the results page.

Ask.com video results

To the right of the results are several advanced search options. You can view the most relevant videos related to your search or opt to see the most popular, most viewed, or most recent videos that pertain to your query.

The other Ask.com video filters let you find HD and 3D videos and filter the videos by length, which is helpful if you're looking for music videos, commercials, video clips, documentaries, etc.

Ask.com History

The Ask.com website has changed quite a bit since its launch in 1997. Originally called Ask Jeeves, it featured a man named Jeeves who was the face for the search engine. Ask him anything and he'd find you the answer.

Ask Jeeves website from 2000
Ask Jeeves From 2000.

In early 2006, Ask Jeeves was renamed to Ask. At that time, there were several other search tools that aren't included in the modern version. In addition to the standard web search, you could also search for images, news, maps, local-only results, weather, encyclopedia listings, blogs, and more.

Ask.com from 2006
Ask.com From 2006.

A year later, Ask.com changed the way it looked yet again, this time adopting a 3D style and rearranging where the search options were.

Ask.com website from the year 2007

At this time were other features, too, like Smart Answers which showcased answers at the top of the page so that you didn't have to search for them yourself. Famous People Search was a tool that let you find news and pictures about historical figures and celebrities. Also available at Ask.com was a unit conversion tool, AskCity for local searches, Binoculars for previewing a page before opening it, and lots more.

Ask.com convert pounds to kilograms

Ask.com also had a really advanced search tool where you could include and exclude words from the results, search using phrases, find words in the URL, search specific domains only, and more.