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AltaVista Updates Search Engine

AltaVista Co. Monday enhanced its flagship search engine by adding audio, video and image-specific searches.

While AltaVista, a CMGI Inc. (CMGI) property, had previously offered multimedia search results, Monday's enhancement separates the multimedia content for simplified searching. The new searches feature an index of more than 30 million documents, the company said.

The company also teamed up multimedia content providers ABCNEWS.com, EMusic.com and Merrill Lynch to offer comprehensive results. No financial terms of the alliances were disclosed.

The updated search engine includes a targeted MP3/audio search, video search and image search. They are designed to provide users with a customized searching environment with a simple user interfaces, as well as tutorial guides to provide instructions and "how to" examples, such as how to download videos or how to load and listen to MP3 music.

Monday's move was made to answer the growing demand for multimedia information, said Greg Memo, vice president and general manager of AltaVista Search.

"There's been explosive growth in the demand for multimedia content over the past year," he said. "AltaVista handles more than three million multimedia search queries each day, which is more than 10 times the number we were receiving a year ago."

"Our new features and premier multimedia content partners demonstrate our unyielding commitment to provide users with the largest, most relevant and up-to-date library of multimedia content."