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Excite Rolls Out Search Update

Broadband service provider Excite@Home early Saturday unveiled its updated search program for Web users worldwide.

Dubbed Excite Precision Search, Excite@Home said the offering is redesigned to deliver improved search relevance and simplified navigation through the Web.

Excite Precision Search was revamped to focus its search functions on relevance algorithms. The program also provides real-time search results on a broad variety of content, including news, photos, audio and video files, as well as Web directory categories.

Michele Turner, Excite@Home vice president of search, said its programming update establishes a new level of search excellence for its users.

"Excite Precision Search provides users with the highest quality results without multiple clicks and queries," Turner said. "We continue to innovate and provide our consumers with the best experience on the Web."

Once based on link popularity, the new heart of Excite Precision Search beats from next generation link analysis. The search programming is a radical improvement in the quality of Excite's Web search results.

Excite's crawls the Web to analyze some 250 million pages every two weeks to keep the search index on top of the most relevant and popular Web pages that match any query. To achieve these results, Excite combined new technologies that evaluate anchor text and link popularity with text indexing, in addition to semantic matching and link analysis utilized in the previous version of Excite Search.

Additionally, dead links and duplicate pages are removed to ensure that Excite users receive fresh and up-to-date search results. Excite keeps its search fresh and dead link-free by pinging its way through its core Web search index ever two or three days.

Abbot Chambers, Excite@Home senior director of search products, said its new search programming is based on two key improvements.

"We dramatically improved search relevance, making Excite's search superior to competitors, while we cleaned-up and re-launched the Web interface, to make it easier for users to search the Web," Chambers said.

Chambers said Excite quietly tested the new search functions and interface over the past few weeks prior to the public rollout event.

"We've keep the rollout slow until today," Chambers said. "Over the past few weeks we've allowed about 15 to 20 percent of our users to check out the new search function. Initial reports are great, users find the streamlined search and simplified Web interface very appealing."

The Excite Precision Search experience begins on the customizable start page, which includes a complete suite of search tools, as well as "Did You Know" search tips, links to popular searches, and a new advanced search feature. Adanve search does not require users to add quotation marks or plus signs to text, users merely select the criteria for their search though an easy-to-use option selection.

The new home page also provides users with access to search results in five categories, Web search with quick results, category search, news search, photo search, as well as audio and video file search.

The Web search quick results appear alongside centralized Web search results and direct users to current information about sports teams, entertainers, companies, colleges and universities, movies, and television programs. For example, a search on "New York Yankees" resents a quick results box showing recent scores, a wire photo, and links to statistics, schedules, and team news.

Through Excite's partnership with LookSmart Ltd., Excite search offers users links to more than 1.5 million sites and 100,000 topics from its Web site directory. The feature is designed to dig deeper into a subject and find quality sites that areh