Carmel’s ChaCha cuts 64 percent of staff with layoffs

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The city of Carmel has never offered any incentives for ChaCha's headquarters at Clay Terrace Mall. (Staff photo)

The city of Carmel has never offered any incentives for ChaCha’s headquarters at Clay Terrace Mall. (Staff photo)

Staff report

Carmel-based search company ChaCha has laid off more than half its employees.

ChaCha CEO and Carmel resident Scott Jones has said that the company downsized from 44 to 16 employees following upheaval in one of its online ad sales divisions.

The division known as Social Reactor was critically hurt when Google deployed a new algorithm for determining advertising rates. The move cut Social Reactor’s Google ad rates by almost 80 percent, Jones confirmed.

ChaCha is a free search service that aims to provide a better search experience by combining results that are hand-picked by human guides with the best computer-generated search results.

In cases where people can’t find what they need with the company’s instant results, ChaCha will connect them with a live human guide who will find the information through an instant messaging-style search session.

The company occupies an anchor location at the north entrance of Clay Terrace Mall in Carmel.

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