Netscape Search Engine Optimization Information

Netscape was originally founded as Mosaic Communications by Jim Clark, the creator of Silicon Graphics, and Marc Andreessen, a grad student from Illinois University. Originally, Mosaic was the brainchild of Andreessen, who first began work on the browser at the University in 1993. Both Clark and Andreessen saw a huge potential for Mosaic as a marketable commodity because it was gaining wide recognition outside of the academic circle by the summer of 1994. Within the same year, Mosaic Communications was formed, but it quickly evolved into Netscape Communications. The Netscape browser went retail later that year.

After a series of highs and lows in a competitive market, Netscape Communications was finally bought out by AOL in 1998. Currently, Netscape is based out of Mountain View California, and is partnered with Ask Jeeves, LookSmart, Lycos, Overture and Google.

Searches through Netscape can be conducted via both the Netscape Browser and the search bar located at Netscape.com. Netscape draws its results primarily from its own Open Directory Project, or DMOZ (a human edited directory), as well as Netscape's proprietary "Smart Browser" database (which works off keywords placed in the Navigator Browser bar). Search results are also supplemented by Google. You can submit your listing to Netscape's Open Directory Project by filling out the appropriate information here.

Instead of mixing all queries up into one big pile, Netscape kindly organizes searches into categories. These are displayed under the following headings: Most Popular SearchesNetscape supplies the user with a list of the most popular search terms related to the initial search. Clicking on these suggestions initiates a new search; Partner Search Resultsthis shows only the paid listings supplied by Overture. Netscape Recommendslistings are drawn from all Netscape and AOL affiliate sites that best match the search. Reviewed Web Sites and Site Categories in both cases, results are taken from DMOZ. With Site Categories, results are organized by topic; and Google Resultsresults taken from Google are displayed here. The main page at Netscape.com also provides a large category list at the left hand column which allows for specialized searches. These categories range from automobiles, to jobs, to the latest movies, music and news.

Smart Browser:
Netscape's Smart Browser function is made up of the two core features, Internet Keywords' and What is Related.' Essentially, 'Internet Keywords' lets you type words right into the URL slot. If you are unsure about the exact wording of the URL you are looking for, Smart Browser makes suggestions based on those key words.

The What is Related' feature is accessed by a drop down bar in the Navigator browser. It offers a dynamic list of sites related to the site you are currently viewing. It works by sending the URL you are currently viewing to a system at Netscape. This URL is then analyzed, and 'What is Related' lists other URL's that best match it in terms of content. 'What is Related's' data stems from Alexa, which obtains its data from its vast resources (web crawls, archives etc.). All URLS are checked to make certain links are live.

What is Related' is constantly building its database of knowledge, as URL's from day to day use are logged and stored. User trends are also tracked'What is Related' analyzes relationships of sites visited by users traveling from one site to the next, and makes assumptions based on this traffic. For instance, moving from one site to another generally indicates that both sites are likely related.

Tips for Searching:
Netscape search uses the and' assumption rule, whereby two words searched side by side will only return documents that contain both words. Netscape also makes use of word stemming, whereby the root of a word will return other words. For instance, jog will return jogger, joggers, jogging, jogged, etc. This feature can be turned off by placing quotes around the word, e.g., "jog." Phrase searches are carried out by using quotation marks around the words. For example, "Let my love open the door" will look for this phrase only, instead of each word independantly, and return information about the song by Pete Towsend. Other interesting search tricks include: Fuzzy Search, Wild Card Characters, Boolen Operators and Parentheses. More information can be found at http://wp.netscape.com/escapes/search/tips_general.html

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