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Netscape Renews Search Deal With Google

Netscape Communications Corp. Wednesday said it will stick with the popular Google search engine, extending its partnership.

Financial terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed, but Google Inc. will support the AOL subsidiary's Open Directory Project, which boasts more than 2 million sites in more than 320,000 categories.

Netscape.com first chose Google as its default search engine in June 1999 when it launched its Netscape Search service to provide the latest in leading search technology to its users.

Netscape spokesman Derek Mains told InternetNews.com Wednesday that his firm never considered looking to another search provider's services.

"Honestly, we were very happy with Google," Mains said. "We got very positive user feedback."

"Precise search tools are critical for Web businesses because they improve Web site navigation and boost user satisfaction, adding significant value for high-volume Web sites such as Netscape," said Larry Page, co-founder and chief executive officer of Google.

Considered one of the premiere search engines, Google is widely recognized for its search technology including sophisticated text matching and its advanced, patent-pending algorithm called PageRank™, which often dictates that the most important search results come up first.

In June, Google moved to trump rivals AltaVista and Inktomi with the launch of a super search engine that spans a billion URLs. With it, the fast growing Google scored a major coup by dethroning Inktomi from the default search engine provider slot on Yahoo! Inc.

Google's play in June came in answer to AltaVista's Raging Search, a new search engine through which attempted to lure "high-end" Net veterans to its service -- something Google has topped.

For Netscape, its restructured Google agreement comes in conjunction with its new look -- a redesigned site for quicker maneuvering by the user -- and the final beta version of its long-awaited, much-anticipated Netscape® 6 PR3 browser. So, the Google extension makes sense for Netscape, which seeks to improve navigability and add to its 34 million users.