Lycos looks for UK hits

Lycos has quietly launched a country-specific version of its search service and plans a formal announcement Thursday for the ad-sponsored site.

Still under development, Lycos UK & Ireland offers local searching on topics including business, technology and careers. Clearly, some anglicising is still required; in the topics, sport is referred to as 'sports' and cars as 'automobiles'. Lycos is yet to recruit a UK managing director.

Although the Web search business is intensely competitive, Lycos holds at least one ace: it was recently granted patents for spidering technology, the process by which search sites automatically search and categorise information.