When word got out last month that Ask Jeeves was buying Bloglines, many bloggers ridiculed the East Bay search engine, and rolled their eyes at the thought of what might happen to their beloved RSS aggregator. But Ask Jeeves is evidently not giving in to its reputation as an irrelevant search player. Industry sources have told us that, until recently, Jeeves was one of the key bidders in the Flickr buy-out sweepstakes, finally getting out-bid, it now appears, by Yahoo (no deal announced yet). Imagine the coup if Jeeves had snagged Bloglines and Flickr in the span of a month. Some might characterize Jeeves’ recent maneuvers as defensive, as its competitors continue to bulk up. Regardless, this is a company to keep an eye on.

Also, lest we forget, Yahoo is finally burying the Overture name. And we’re told CEO Jerry Yang may allude tomorrow to the need to better serve small publishers. Can RSS ads or some other such ad program be far behind?