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GeoCities Taps Inktomi's Search Engine

Community Web site portal GeoCities Monday started using search engine technology from Inktomi Corp.

Users will be able to perform both basic and in-depth searches sites inside the GeoCities network as well as across the Internet.

Under basic GeoCities searches, more than 20 million GeoCities member pages will be indexed. By typing in words or phrases, users will receive lists of matching member pages, and Inktomi will also provide rankings of pages according to relevancy.

The advanced search functionality will conduct searches of Web pages in nine different languages, including Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. Users can also search for content by format, such as Java and Shockwave, as well as by file extension.

Other companies using Inktomi's search technology include Yahoo!, MSN.com, America Online and @Home. The company also makes the Inktomi Traffic Server network caching product which stores popular Web pages on a company's Web servers, reducing bandwidth consumption.

"(Users) win because their sites are significantly more accessible and our advertisers win because this new technology will increase traffic to our member sites," said Thomas R. Evans, president and chief executive officer of GeoCities.

"In addition to better technology, there is a bottom-line business reason for bringing the search function inside: ad revenue," said Michael Barrett, GeoCities' vice president of advertising sales. "We don't intend to be in the search technology business, we are in the ad sales business. Previously we handed search traffic off to other companies, and the ad space inventory wasn't ours to sell. It is now. The search space offers our advertisers very attractive locations and a highly targeted cost per thousand," Barrett said.