AskJeeves first gained popularity as a friendly search engine with a human face. Rather than enter disjointed terms or phrases, searchers were encourage to simply ask the question for which they were seeking an answer. “How do I plant a garden?”, “What is the capital of New Zealand?”, “Where was Tom Cruise born?”, etc. The idea is that you would be given an “answer” in the form of a web page that happened to cover your specific topic. Dead on at times, dreadfully off at others, AskJeeves (now Ask.com) continues to be a fun alternative to the other, more serious engines.
Of course, 1.5 million pages in its index is no fact to be taken lightly. As with any search engine, finding answers to people's questions is big business. AskJeeves generates considerable revenue in allowing sites to pay for placement in various ways, even allowing some sites to appear as the “single answer” for a chosen question.