I've always had a soft spot for Ask.
I like the simplicity of their results and in particular the visual nature of their results.
The new design is again, terribly simple and good.
But Ask has a long way to go.
The luxury of being an also-ran is the propensity to try that much harder, and to take more risks.
Ask did that a couple of years ago when they fired Jeeves and introduced their first major makeover. They've done it again, reinventing the search page results. At first glance it appears that they may have left a lot of money on the table by giving up the paid revenue channel that typically runs down the far right side of the page.
But, as anyone who works in paid adverising can tell you, it's not those positions that generate clicks, so any search engine can play with that side of the page and Ask has done that.
Clearly Ask has done some thinking.
And when it comes to search, and monetizing every search result, there's room for thought.
Have a good one.
~The (SEP) Guy