Ask.com has reintroduced its butler, Jeeves, to internet users again, three years after the iconic figure was irreverently removed from the search engine's name and front page in 2006.
Jeeves, which rival Google still associates with search engine Ask, apparently came "back to help" according to Ask's website. The question obviously is to "help whom", Ask or Ask's users.
The search engine is lagging behind the top three search websites in the UK, around 2 percent in the UK, down from 2.6 percent 12 months ago, that's compared to Google's 77 percent.
Interestingly, Ask has introduced Jeeves only in the UK, certainly because of the character played by the "gentleman's personal gentleman" role played by Stephen Fry in the TV series Jeeves and Wooster.
Site tracking website Alexa says that Ask.com is currently ranked 45th worldwide and 51st in the UK with an estimated 15 million UK monthly users. The new facelifted 2009 version of Jeeves now has a 3D makeover and comes with Savile Row suit and tie as well as an elongated chin.
Jeeves was apparently off for three years to travel the world "in a quest for knowledge" and returned to UK "armed with answers".
Ask Jeeves first appeared back in 1997 and a whopping 83 percent of people interviewed in a recent survey said that they remembered Jeeves.
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You gotta love the marketing buffs at Ask. First they axed what was a popular figure, only to reinstate it three months later. Jeeves was a valet in the original TV series. Some might argue that in a world hit by recession having a virtual valet brings some pampering and comfort in a stressful environment. Whether this will translate into more visitors for Ask remains to be seen.
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