AltaVista to Sell Top Results Spots

Compaq Computer’s search site AltaVista will soon begin to auction off positioning at the top of search results for certain queries, according to a published reports.

AltaVista said the paid listings will be designated as such and will appear separate from the traditional indexed listings, according to a New York Times report.

“We want to make it clear that we haven’t changed our core index, but we want to offer additional ways for users to find some results that are interesting,” Kurt Lozert, general manager of AltaVista’s search service, was quoted as saying. “We’ve tested a number of concepts so it will be very clear to users this is not the index results.”

Doubleclick Inc., which sells advertising for AltaVista, promoted the program in a recent email message to potential customers. “When users perform keyword searches on AltaVista, what is the first listing they see?” the message said. “Now it can be your company’s listing.”

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