The idea behind Ask Jeeves was the ability to answer questions asked in natural language. Jeeves is the name of the "butler" (illustrated by Marcos Sorenson), supposed to be the person who fetches you the answers of any query you ask. The name comes from a famous character in the works of P.G. Wodehouse. The company develops technologies for web-wide search, and competes with other search engine companies, such as Google and Yahoo.
Ask Jeeves was the first commercial question-answering search engine for the World Wide Web. It supports a variety of user queries in plain English (natural language) and strives to be more intuitive and user-friendly than other search engines.
Ask Jeeves-owned Teoma search technology uses subject-specific link popularity to compute "authoritativeness" of a search result. The Teoma technology also incorporates patented click popularity techniques, originally from DirectHit search engine, Ask Jeeves acquired in 2000.
See also: List of search engines