With all the chatter around My Jeeves, I figured I'd give it a quick test drive.

The first thing I did was go thru the short on-line tour to learn that the model is simple:

  • Search and Save
  • Organize and Edit
  • Share and Print

I don't know about the "print" part, really. I think they just like to pair action words together.

Anyway, I signed up for an account, which means I supplied my e-mail address and waited for the confirmation e-mail. Bonus points for not asking me for a bunch of demographic bullshit that I'd just lie about anyway.

Then I found that it works with Firefox and IE but not Safari. Luckily I have Firefox 1.0 on my Powerbook. So I proceeded to run a few searches in the hopes of finding results that I could save and then annotate (sound familiar?). The second search I tried confirmed what the first search hinted at: The relevancy is horrible!

When I search for "jeremy zawodny blog", my blog home page isn't even on the first page of results. What the hell is with that? My linkblog is the #2 result, which is close, but not quite what I expected.

Hmm. Numerous other searches yielded less than stellar results, but I saved a few results anyway and played with the My Jeeves interface a bit--creating a folder, annotating results, and so on. I can't say quite why, but the interface sort of reminds me of Yahoo! Mail's inbox view.

One odd thing is that the search box on My Jeeves defaults to "Search MyJeeves" insead of "Search the Web." Maybe I'm unusual, but I still expect to be searching the web most of the time and my collection of links and notes far less often.

Anyway, I'd give the My Jeeves folks a B for the design and usability. I'd give the Ask Jeeves folks a D for search relevancy. Of the 10 searches I ran, only 4 produced good results. Like I said earlier, they've got some similar ideas to the A9 folks (saved search history with annotations, all on a central server) but are going about it in very different way.

But don't trust my opinion, give it a try. You might not find it all that useful, mostly due to the horrid relevancy, but it's worth seeing how they've built a search workspace.

Hey, I kinda like that term: search workspace. That really is what it's starting to feel like.

Posted by jzawodn at September 20, 2004 11:40 PM

Reader Comments
# Richard Evans Lee said:

I have several weblogs spread across several domains. A few show up in Jeeves about the same place they do on Yahoo and Amazon.

With a couple a random affliate marketing link beat the home page or any of the pages I'd think more relevant (but I'm not complaining).

One weblog was moved two months ago and has a proper redirection from the old site. Even though Jeeves has indexed the new site heavily the results point to the old site.

Jeeves has indexed some of my sites heavily. So heavily that I had to upgrade one domain's hosting plan. I don't see any of that reflected in my quick and superficial tests. The results seem random and arbitrary.

Most annoying was that a couple of searches brought up so many sponsored results that I had to page down to see something that wasn't an ad.

I can't see myself using Jeeves to search for anything.

on September 21, 2004 03:28 AM
# peter caputa said:

agreed. the biggest thing that ask has to do is increase its index and work on its freshness and relevance.

until then, all the gadgets in the world aren't going to help them win me over.

on September 21, 2004 06:16 AM
# Hanan Cohen said:

When I read about the "Personalized Jeeves" I thought to myself "at last, a major search engine that tweaks my searches according to my former searches". Big dissapointment.

on September 21, 2004 10:02 AM
# Dave said:

Jeremy, I agree the main domain of your site should be #1 instead of the interior pages, out of curiosity, can you remind us WHAT COMPANY YOU WORK FOR again? Perhaps you should state that up front before commenting on competitor's products? Just a thought.


on September 21, 2004 10:14 AM
# mrkrrtft said:

If you drop the "blog" from the search term you get your main blog first thing.


on September 21, 2004 10:51 AM
# Barry Schwartz said:

Interesting points. They have some work to do on the relevancy side, you would think that Teoma 3.0 would help a bit. Anyway, I agree with you on the default search by "my saved results", that is a bad thing to have as a default option, especially on the day they launch the MyJeeves program. I guess that is why all these Search Engines call everything beta? :)

Anyway, I love the brand, love the Teoma search community concept, but the actual search results can clearly be better.

on September 21, 2004 12:02 PM
# Dirk said:

In search, relevance is everything. Before adding any gimmick, the relevance thing should be decently achieved.

on September 21, 2004 12:05 PM
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