US Report: Netscape beefs up Netcenter search

Netscape has signed agreements with search services Lycos, Infoseek, LookSmart and Digital's AltaVista.The deals follow Netscape's deal with Excite which calls for the search engine company to pay about $70m (£42.

Netscape has signed agreements with search services Lycos, Infoseek, LookSmart and Digital's AltaVista.

The deals follow Netscape's deal with Excite which calls for the search engine company to pay about $70m (£42.70m) to be featured on Netscape's Netcenter.

Netscape said Thursday that its new NetSearch program, which will launch June 1, will rotate search requests between all of the companies.

Both Excite's and Netscape's search engines will each receive 25 percent of the requests, while the remaining 50 percent of requests will be divided between the other search engines. Netscape's homepage is consistently ranked as one of the Top 10 sites on the Web. The company recently announced plans to develop the site as a revenue source, adding content and commerce deals. The search engines will also be available from the homepage, as well as on the special search page.

An Excite spokeswoman said the company was aware of the other deals when they signed up with Netscape, and felt "confident" in their deal. Netscape said at the time of the Excite deal it would be working with other search sites. Excite's deal calls for the company to be responsible for all ad sales on the co-branded portions of the site. Excite will also share ad revenue from those pages with Netscape.

Netscape has also announced plans to offer a new "Netscape channel" which will be available from Netscape's site and from search engines sites. The channel will include news and information about Netscape. The search engines will also link to the Netscape site when various Internet and computer-related keywords are entered.

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