David Kirkpatrick recommends trying out the search engine.
Unlike Google, Ask gives you content before ads, includes previews, and offers related links, including those like “Ozone Layer” that you might not have thought of. Of the three other major search sites – Google, MSN, and Yahoo – only Yahoo comes close to delivering value comparable to Ask.com, but even then with a much less well-designed screen.
The other explanation for why Ask.com is good is its underlying technology, which used to be called Teoma. That service grew out of Pentagon-funded work at Rutgers University.
Teoma’s search works differently than others. It clusters sites according to topic communities, using unique technology which Ask now calls ExpertRank. That’s why it can find “ozone layer” sites when you search for “global warming.”