Excite Next To Go?

With the Go and NBCi portals having been essentially shuttered, many wonder who will be next to jump out of the portal game. Perhaps it may be Excite@Home, given the signals it has been sending out recently.

Excite@Home has both a broadband Internet access business and runs web properties, such as Excite.com and Blue Mountain Arts. Given the company's cash crunch, something has to give -- and outgoing chair and CEO George Bell suggested last month that it would be the web properties. His new replacement, Patti Hart, also suggested the same thing, after being named to the post last month.

Action followed these words -- on Monday, another round of layoffs saw 13 percent of Excite@Home's staff cut, with the web properties such as Excite.com bearing the brunt.

So what's going to happen? Will Excite.com be closed or sold? It remains to be seen, but Excite@Home clearly intends to continue focusing on broadband, the company says.

"We are considering the sale of certain narrowband media assets. Which assets and when and if they will be sold has not yet been determined. We will make an announcement when there is more to report here. The company is continuing to refine its focus on the broadband opportunity and will consider ways to focus our media efforts on broadband," said Alison Bowman, Excite@Home's director of communications.

In other Excite news, paid links from FindWhat are now appearing at Excite. You'll find the top three listings from FindWhat displayed at the bottom of the Excite results page, under the heading, "Sponsored Links Provided by FindWhat.com."

In addition to the FindWhat links, Excite also now has its own sponsored links program. This places one link at the top of the page, with the label "Sponsored Link" to the right of the listing (try a search for "windows" to see an example). I'm expecting to get more details on these shortly. In the meantime, if you are interested, contact Excite's advertising department.

Finally, many have asked about the disappearance of Excite's Add URL page that allows submitting directly to its crawler. The page was never removed -- but the public link to it was taken down, as part of an experiment to see if this would boost submission to the LookSmart, which is promoted at Excite. The link is back up, now.

"The test we conducted did not lead to an increase in [LookSmart” Express submits so we have re-instituted the link to the free option," said Lynne Mariani Pogue, Excite's director of product management, search and directory.


Excite@Home lays off 13 percent of staff
News.com, April 30, 2001

Details on the latest cuts. Excite@Home remains with about 2,500 employees.

Excite@Home Names Hart Chairman, CEO
InternetNews.com, April 23, 2001

Details on the departure of Excite@Home's former CEO and the naming of its new one.

Excite@Home Wants Out of Media Business
InternetNews.com, April 17, 2001

Excite@Home says it plans to concentrate on its broadband business, suggesting that its commitment to maintaining the Excite web site may be waning.


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Excite Add URL page

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