Netscape Search Inserts Netscape News Above Web Results

What’s this? Netscape Search has changed?
So says
Netscape’s Jason Calacanis. What’s new? From what Jason says and I can see, the
big difference is that there’s a new "Netscape.com results" section at the top
of the page that shows you top voted stories from the
Netscape community news service.

More on that service is cover in my
Netscape Aims To
Be Digg 2.0, Slashdot 3.0 With Community News Mode
post. After the
Netscape.com results, you’ll get Google-powered results from across the web.

To be clear, this isn’t a case of users voting particular stories to the top
of search results, say on a query-by-query basis. Rather, from what I can tell,
stories get popular over at Netscape.com itself. Then the top stories over there
might show up in response to searches at Netscape Search, if they are a good
keyword match. In other words, think of it as NetscapeRank. If a story has good
NetscapeRank, that might help it rank well in keyword search results.

FYI marketers, it might not take much to pick up that rank. A query on
cars gives me three
results that have only one or two votes each. More than votes might be involved,
of course — and I haven’t seriously poked at this in any details. But there may
be opportunities, though the Netscape traffic is far, far less than at the major
search engines.

From a searcher perspective, I guess it’s mainly useful if you want to be
alerted to news results in the course of your regular web searching. Places like
Google and Yahoo have long done this already. The difference with Netscape is
that you can get your news sourced from a community, rather than an algorithmic
search engine.

Then again, use the
Google Co-op
link for Digg you’ll find
here
, and then you’ll sort of get what Netscape is doing, just with Digg as
your news source showing up at the top of Google searches.

Perhaps down the line, we’ll see Digg follow Netscape’s lead and make it
possible to search Digg and the web at the same time, something that doesn’t
seem possible right now at the Digg site.

Finally, search.netscape.com is a
long-standing address for Netscape Search. That’s still active and redirecting
here, where the
"old" Netscape search remains active.