Ask.com today officially announces AskEraser. What’s AskEraser?
When enabled by the user, AskEraser completely deletes all future search queries and associated cookie information from Ask.com servers, including IP address, User ID, Session ID, and the complete text of their queries.
An AskEraser link is featured prominently in the upper right corner of the Ask.com homepage and search results pages – clearly and constantly indicating to the user that their search activity will be ‘erased’ from Ask.com servers. AskEraser remains ‘on’ for searches conducted across Ask.com’s major search verticals: Web, Images, AskCity, News, Blogs, Video, and Maps & Directions – and can be turned ‘on’ or ‘off’ by the user at anytime.
Is this important? Yes. Will it convert users to Ask.com? Yes, but I don’t know when the tidal wave will occur.
What do you mean by you don’t know exactly when? What I mean is this an event driven asset that is likely to drive conversions of people when Google or another search engine has a larger data or privacy breach that creates considerable news. These types of things are almost guaranteed to happen in the future, but does that mean today or a decade from now? I can’t tell ya that. In the meantime, Ask.com should continue to build budget for evangelist assets to convert one new user at a time – using the concept of “not how many but who” as Seth Godin points out in his new book Meatball Sundae. Good luck to Ask with the effort.
Barry Schwartz has a nice write up as well at Search Engine Land.
Some people have questioned the ability to have both privacy and bookmarks, a comment on Andy Beal’s blog asks this question:
Allen Taylor Says:
Yes, and there’s another reason this isn’t such great news. In order to use MyStuff you have to turn AskEraser off, which brings up an important personal security question. What if I save a website to MyStuff? Will the query performed to find that website be erased when I turn AskEraser back on? It seems I have a choice: I can have privacy or I can have bookmarks, but I can’t have both.
Could someone from Ask, say Gary Price or Patrick, please clarify this issue by answering Allen’s question?