Ask.com has said it will lay off 40 employees, or 8% of its workforce, and it is giving up the fight for Google’s market share as a general search engine by repositioning the company to focus on answering question-based queries that come from women. Per Reuters, here is Ask’s new audience:
The company found that about 65 percent of its user base are women, with a high concentration of users in their late 30s in the U.S. Midwest and Southeast. That contrasts with the wider search market, where women account for closer to 48 percent of users.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because it is. This move sets Ask.com back to its Ask Jeeves days, sans mascot. Though Forrester analyst Charlene Li says targeting the married mom audience is a smart move for Ask, Rafat Ali at paidContent notes that it’s still an uphill battle against Google.