Kid friendly search is an important feature for many parents of young children who want to let their children use the internet to research their school projects and basically, expand their horizons via the internet. However, turning on the safe search feature in your browser may not always help keep them in the good neighborhoods. Don’t get me wrong. Google, MSN and Yahoo do a marvelous job of filtering out those sites, but kids are smart and there are lots of ways around those safe search options.
Recently, Ask.com released a search engine just for kids and based on input from one of our younger search marketing researchers, it’s a hit! The new search engine features a customizable homepage with stickers and a pen, pencil and highlighter. Pre-selected categories include Schoolhouse, Movies, Games, Video and Images.
To decide what sites should be included, the seed list for Askkids.com was hand-selected by reviewers as either a good kid-friendly site or a good learning site. Then, they used an algorithm to identify web communities that were also linked to these basic sites. Of course, there could still be kid-unfriendly sites in this group, so they added a filter to remove any adult content. It seems to have worked pretty well because our young researcher was able to have a good safe time and our own research failed to turn up any sites that we wouldn’t want our kids to visit. In fact, where AskKids.com may fall down is on inclusion, as we note that there are other kid-friendly sites that they might have included which are not there.
Will Askkids.com become the new go-to search engine for kids? Well, it’s still early to say, but comparing it to other kid-friendly search engines in Alexa shows promising early results, since their late August announcement with a sharp rise in traffic as compared to a couple of their competitors. This site should be monitored going forward to see if they will become a force among the under-age search crowd.
So, how do you get included in askkids.com? Well, of course, you can advertise if your product fits their guidelines. They restrict advertising to products that are appropriate for kids under 13. To appear in the organic listings, make sure your site is appropriate for kids under 13 and then do a little research on Askkids.com to see what other sites related to the theme of your site are listed. Try to find networks of websites appropriate to your category and make sure you are linked in that network, so when Teoma, Askkids.com’s spider, comes around, your website can be found and included.
Last week IAC made big news when CEO Barry Diller announced that the company would be splitting up into five separate entities. The five companies are IAC, Home Shopping Network, LendingTree, Interval, and Ticketmaster. The split will have some big implications for internet marketers. The new IAC will operate entirely as an internet media company. IAC is comprised of over 30 media and advertising brands which include Ask.com, Evite, Citysearch, and Match.com. These recent changes will most likely increase the quality and amount of traffic generated through Ask.com.
Ask.com has been the 4th ranked engine after Google, Yahoo, and MSN for some time now and IAC has some big hopes to increase that share. Anyone who has watched TV recently is sure to notice the significant amount of advertising that Ask.com has been doing to promote their engine and new features. One of the features that Ask.com has been promoting is called Ask3D. This feature creates a new layout for search results and displays a wide variety of content on a single page. With new features and more advertising, Ask.com is slowing gaining market share. In October, search queries on Ask.com increased 4% from September. Ask.com’s market share is up to nearly 4% now. This has been the second straight month of gains.
One of the biggest perks now for marketers who use Ask.com is the ability to advertise on the many different sites that make up IAC. We recently received an email from Ask.com explaining how we now have access to placing ads on popular sites like Evite, Citysearch, and Match.com. They are even working on bringing more ads to the mobile market. IAC is definitely setting itself up to become a big player in online advertising. As the ever-evolving story of internet marketing continues, it seems safe to say that only those who adapt with it will survive. It will be interesting to see what the future will hold for Ask.com and the IAC.