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Salesforce Industries Summit

Business Search Engine Aims to Take on Lycos and Yahoo!

By Mary Hillebrand
Jul 26, 1999 12:00 AM PT

B2B Explorer, a new search engine aimed at business users, was launched Monday.

Business Search Engine Aims to Take on Lycos and Yahoo!

Calling itself an "Internet-based Business Search Engine & Directory," the site is free for users and companies posting information in the directory. Listings include detailed company descriptions, company contact information and a secure e-mail link to a company contact. B2B Explorer says these unique features -- in demand by business Internet users pressed for time and seeking detailed information -- will set it apart from standard search engines.

The founders of B2B Explorer, Inc. believe their new search engine can make a name for itself on par with Lycos and Yahoo!, within 12 months. It's a bullish outlook, but what else might we expect from the owners of the company? Whether or not business Internet users decide within the next year that they need more search power, in additon to Lycos, Yahoo! and the other search engines currently available, remains to be seen.

All Business, All the Time

B2B pledges to continually check and update the information in its databases to ensure the listings returned in a search are always accurate. It also will not list company names multiple times in the search results list and will use a series of filters to enable fine-tuned searches. The engine also has a notification service that sends an e-mail to a business user when a new company is listed on the site that matches a set of criteria the user defined.

Unlike current non-specialized search sites, B2B requires the user to log in with a password to use the free service. The company promises not to share that information, but argues gathering user information is appropriate since the service offers direct e-mail links and specific personnel information about the companies listed in the directory.

Like standard search sites, B2B will dabble in e-commerce and news as well. The site includes the B2B Marketplace, which the site's owners hope will become the first place business users look when they need to buy business-related goods and services. News will focus on business and information from "several leading online content providers" the company has not yet announced.

"The general search engines have done a great job pioneering the Internet. They have become so large now though, that a user can spend hours searching," President Jeff Taplin said. "In a business environment, that is an unproductive use of time."


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