Inktomi said the product, called Directory Engine, categorizes Internet content by topic and will allow Internet directories to customize the appearance of search results. Most Internet providers use teams of editors to classify content.
Inktomi said the new product also will reply to search queries with links to relevant retailers on the Web. Many Internet directories, such as Yahoo, attract users by organizing Web pages into a logical format. The directories then earn revenue by selling ads or referring users to online merchants.
"The Web grows at a faster rate than any medium in history, and the future of Web directories will necessarily be a hybrid of human and machine," Inktomi chief executive David Peterschmidt said in a statement.
Inktomi's Directory Engine has categorized 1.3 million documents, compared to 1 billion documents that the company expects to be online by 2000. Inktomi wants to allow Internet directories to integrate keyword search results found using its Search Engine with the sites it has categorized with Directory Engine.
As with its Search Engine, Inktomi will charge a per-query fee for its Directory Engine.
Inktomi's sales of technology to Internet directories accounted for $6.42 million, or 44 percent, of its revenue in its second quarter ended March 31.
The company also makes software that allows service providers to manage Internet traffic.
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