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HEARD ON THE BEAT

Engine Gets a Tuneup

April 21, 1997|KAREN KAPLAN

Excite is getting a face-lift today.

The home of one of the World Wide Web's most popular search engines (http://www.excite.com) has been redesigned with 14 channels--like sports, travel and games--to make it easier for Web surfers to find information on the Internet, said George Bell, president and CEO of Excite Inc. Each channel will have standard features such as top sites, news and guided tours that feature sites in that category.

Excite's redesign was partially motivated to boost ad sales, which totaled $7.5 million for the first quarter of this year and $14.8 million for all of 1996. Bell said the company used to sell out its slots for ads in popular categories such as business and computing, and the new format will create more real estate for banner ads. Bell also figures the ads will be seen by more people this way--and therefore generate more revenue--because channels are easier to navigate than Excite's search engine, which is still available at the site.

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