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Ask is asking for another chance to be your search engine.

Ditching its overly mannered mascot, Jeeves the butler, didn't win any dates with Internet searchers. Despite the first-rate features rolled out by the fourth-ranked search engine since its acquisition by IAC two years ago, Ask, like MSN/ and, has been losing ground to Google in recent months, according to ComScore's metrics.

And like Yahoo, with its Panama ad platform, and Microsoft, with its purchase of aQuantive and a new Silicon Valley search engine effort, Ask is anything but defeated: The company Tuesday introduced Ask3D, a revised search service with a new three-panel search results interface and a new search algorithm called Morph.

Morph is similar in concept to Google's recently launched universal search in that it surfaces text, images, and video search results on the same page. The difference is that Ask's results look better and are easier to navigate.

Ask3D "is a complete redefinition of our core search products," said Daniel Read, VP of consumer products at Ask. "It's something we're very excited about because it's the culmination of probably up to five years of thinking and strategizing and testing and experimenting in how core search is brought to the user. We believe what we've got here is really a major leap forward in search user experience and something that puts us beyond our competitors."

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