Ask.com changes its image search service's lens

Ask Jeeves has sharpened the focus on its image-search engine.

Ask Jeeves has a new image search engine and it is ready for its close-up, the Oakland, California, company said Tuesday.

Available at http://pictures.ask.com, the image engine is the first to use an index and technology developed internally by Ask Jeeves. Previously, Ask Jeeves relied on partner Picsearch AB to power its image engine.

Ask Jeeves has fine-tuned its image-search algorithms. To rank image search results, Ask Jeeves measures their "authoritativeness" within their "topic community," and it employs image-recognition technologies to sharpen the relevance, according to the company. In addition, search suggestions specifically developed for image search offer users alternative terms related to their query, the company said.

Ask Jeeves, owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp, said it invested in improving its image search because it is its second most popular type of search, accounting for 16 percent of queries.

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