AOL Search Gets Enhancements

America Online Inc., Dulles, VA, announced yesterday new AOL Search capabilities and partnerships.

Enhancements to AOL Search include:

· An updated design that moves away from a tabbed interface to provide users with a more directed, personalized search experience.

· An AOL SmartBox suggestion tool that automatically presents relevant choices to help narrow a query even before users press the “Search” button.

· A new layer of results called “Snapshots” appears at the top of search results and presents editorial content and relevant information for topics such as local movie show times and sports statistics. Snapshots results are drawn from AOL's network of content and Web brands.

· Integrated shopping search results give users a convenient way to buy products they're looking for, or to easily access Pinpoint Shopping's database of 25 million products.

· The ability to adjust font sizes as well as improved compatibility with screen reader software used by the blind.

America Online also said it is working with Fast Search & Transfer Inc., a search technology and solutions provider, to enhance its expanded local search services and results customized to users' geographic locations.

The company also announced yesterday a license agreement with Copernic under which AOL will offer integrated desktop search.

And America Online said it will work with Ingenio. Ingenio's product, Ingenio Pay Per Call, offers advertisers — regardless of whether they operate a Web site — an Internet-based, pay-for-performance system to drive targeted phone calls, rather than clicks, to their businesses.

These advertisers — including large and small businesses, local merchants and service providers — will be showcased in a sponsored link search results area on AOL Search, the Web site, AOL Yellow Pages and other AOL properties, providing advertisers exposure to a mass audience of customers searching online for local products and services.

Ingenio Pay Per Call advertisers will be charged only after a phone call is made to their business as a result of the ad. An auction-based, open-bidding approach gives advertisers insight into their local market, letting them determine how much a phone lead is worth to their business at any given time.

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