Ask.com rebranded for married, American mothers?

CNN reports that in a "dramatic about-face", Ask.com is quitting its attempts to outshine search leader Google and will instead focus on a narrower market, specifically married women looking for help managing their lives.

The new direction for the company, that will result in the redundancy of around 40 employees, sees the search service targeting "married women primarily living in the southern and midwestern United States".

The site will apparently now concentrate on finding answers to questions about recipes, hobbies, children's homework, entertainment and health.

CNN quotes Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li, who says married women and mothers are not only a prime ad target as they make household spending decisions, but they will be thrilled to have a search engine designed for them:

"It's not so much that these women have simple questions, it's just that they are so busy that they need fast answers."