Ask.com has launched a landing page for Brazilian users in order to get a share of the 80 million Brazilian internet users. However, Ask.com’s operations targeted at Brazilian users is severely flawed. Unless Ask.com changes how it operates, it is very likely to fail in Brazil, which, as mentioned before, has a huge market.
The first major problem is Ask.com’s landing page for Brazilian users. The image below shows the American landing page and the Brazilian landing page.
The differences between both pages are clearly visible. The American page is filled with valuable content, including an interactive quiz. However, the Brazilian version is not even related to questions, which should be one of the most important features of the other page. The Brazilian page is very weak and not likely to be competitive with Google for general searches. The main twist, which could be a great feature, was left aside.
Even Ask.com’s search feature is poorer in the Brazilian version. It has no internal QA system, no search terms suggestions and no search options such as image search. Moreover, the amount of ads in the Brazilian page is higher than in the American version. But most importantly, most results are generally not relevant. A search for Olimpíadas (Olympics in Portuguese) gives poor results, excluding two Wikipedia pages in the middle. Therefore, the only feature that the Brazilian version has is also greatly flawed.
The Brazilian version is not under construction, for Ask.com is advertising their page for Brazilian users. Nonetheless, their ads are also faulty. Refer to the ad below, which I saw on Youtube in July 2012:
The sentence “Onde foi Marisa Monte nasceu?” is grammatically incorrect. It is a word-by-word translation from “Where was Marisa Monte born?”, but the correct version should be “Onde nasceu Marisa Monte?” (or other correct variation). Moreover, the call-to-action used in this ad is written in English. It would be much more effective to write it in Portuguese (“Descubra”) since many Brazilian do not speak English. It is also strange that part of the ad is written in Portuguese, while another part is written in English. At last, the picture in the background is from an American birth certificate, which may also not be familiar to many Brazilian users (a Brazilian birth certificate could be used instead). These changes would greatly increase the quality (and thus the conversions) of this ad.
Therefore, the Brazilian version of Ask.com’s website is much weaker than the original version. The only feature it has, search, is also worse than in the American version. Furthermore, Ask.com’s ads are faulty and contain translation problems. Therefore, unless Ask.com changes how it operates in Brazil, it is very likely to fail in attracting Brazilian users.