Ask.com: Is 5% not enough?

Ask.com: Is 5% not enough?
Jim Lanzone, ask.com (former) CEO
Jim Lanzone in happier times…

Last week Don Dodge (Director, Business Development at Microsoft) calculated that each 1% of market share in search is worth at least $1 Billion in market cap. That may be but Ask.com, which has ‘only’ has 5% of the search market, seems to be struggling.

Just yesterday it announced that it is replacing its CEO Jim Lanzone with InterActive Corp. (IAC) executive Jim Safka. Safka also worked at Match.com, E*Trade and AT&T.

Lanzone had only been with Ask.com since April 2006 when he replaced Steve Berkowitz who left at that time to head up Microsoft’s MSN and Windows Live platforms. Don’t write Lanzone off by the way! He is joining Silicon Valley venture capital firm Redpoint Ventures as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Expect to hear from him again soon.

So what can be learned here? Well, maybe that having a large chunk of traffic isn’t a ticket to success. Monetizing traffic and turning visitors into users isn’t easy. Just ask Jim Lanzone and Steve Berkowitz. Or better yet, lets ask you: how would you monetize 5% of the search market?

Ask.com’s traffic over the last 3 years:
Ask.com Alexa Score.

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