Netscape Search delivers relevant results

Netscape on yesterday announced Netscape Search, the company's next-generation search service built on its Open Directory Project and Smart Browsing technology.

Netscape Search will debut on the Netcenter Web portal and allow surfers to search the Net using simple keywords and phrases.

Integrated into Communicator 4.08 and later versions, Netscape Search promises no dead links and employs "freshness dating" in its reviewed categories.

Netscape Search breaks results into four categories: official Web sites, Netcenter pages, Web site categories and reviewed Web sites. Netcenter pages encompass tools and services, and its content mirrors your search term.

When I conducted a search for "jazz records," I received category matches sorted by record labels and record stores. In each instance, Netscape Search renders a breadcrumb trail. "Record Labels," for example, resides in Art, Music and then Business.

"Netscape Search can deliver relevancy rankings of directory categories," says Dariusz Paczuski, senior program manager for Netscape Search. "It also avoids having to go to a separate search page."

You simply enter a keyword preceded by the word "search" into your browser's location bar and Netscape Search will deliver relevant results culled by more than 12,000 Open Directory volunteer editors.

Results by the people, for the people

The Open Directory Project differs from proprietary search directories such as Yahoo and Excite in that it draws on the general Web community for Internet research.

Currently, the Open Directory lists 650,000 sites in more than 95,000 categories from 229 countries in 44 languages, say Netscape officials.

Surging in popularity, the Open Directory Project now accepts approximately two out of ten volunteer editor applicants, Paczuski says. By comparison, the directory accepted one out of three applicants last year. "We no longer allow users to become editors of a top-level category," Paczuski adds.

But you don't have to be a registered Open Directory editor to contribute to its body of content. You can recommend new sites for review at any time and an editor will evaluate your submission.

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