The death of the old Excite search engine happened in December, when new owners InfoSpace dropped results from the Excite crawler in favor of a page heavily dominated by paid listings from Overture.
Up to 15 out of the 20 listings now displayed on Excite may be paid listings from Overture. Any non-paid listings now come from Inktomi. Nothing distinguishes paid and non-paid listings, for users concerned about this.
The changes hardly make Excite a compelling search resource, given the ad-heavy nature of its results. Ironically, a message displayed to visitors reaching the Excite web site just after the switch over discussed how the new management sought to "restore Excite to its former glory." Dumping a load of paid listings on searchers coming to the site -- without any disclaimers -- is hardly a step in the right direction.
However, InfoSpace says this will change, in the future. The company says it plans to create a new meta search service for Excite that will be different from its existing Dogpile and MetaCrawler meta search engines.
"It will be a meta search solution, which is currently being worked on and designed for the savvy Excite search user," said InfoSpace spokesperson Steve Stratz. "Overture is assisting in providing a short-term solution, while the long-term meta search solution, which Overture will be included, is being worked on and designed."
Plans are for the new meta search service to go live sometime in the next three months, Stratz said.
Excite: Welcome To A New Beginning
Old pitch on restoring Excite to its former "glory."
Web portal Excite UK will shut down this week
Reuters, Dec. 17, 2001
Excite UK is to close. In fact, since the article above was written, it did close. Attempts to reach Excite.co.uk now lead to former rival, Lycos UK.
Excite.com Spared from Extinction
SearchDay, Nov. 29, 2001
Past article about Excite acquisition.