When Yahoo Is Not Enough



Searching for investment research and news of the latest mergers and acquisitions is about to get more refined, according to content aggregator Data Downlink Corp. The company plans to launch its business portal Monday.

PortalB is a search engine that digs through more than 8,500 business-oriented Web sites for selected information. Data Downlink sees a market in companies that are dissatisfied with the business-related search results they get from popular search engines such as AltaVista and Yahoo.

"People in the business environment are using search engines that are made for consumers," says Steven Goldstein, CEO of Data Downlink.

Data Downlink says it will integrate PortalB into a client's intranet and customize it to look more home grown. PortalB, which is free of advertisements, will be sold on a subscription basis for $6,000 a year for small organizations and $200,000 for large companies.

Advertisements are productivity sappers, Goldstein says, because they distract portal users from doing their jobs. While being free of ads is nice, having someone to organize searchable business content is what will appeal to users, says David Curle, an analyst with Outsell Inc., an advisory service for the information industry.

Curle says PortalB's ability to let a user download a table from a document into a spreadsheet is one of its most useful features, "because tables in HTML pages are useless and hard to manipulate."

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