Lycos launches dating search engine

Lycos Inc. is making it easier for lonely hearts to find their soulmates online.

The company will launch on Wednesday a search engine that only indexes dating Web sites, giving users links to personal profiles found at iMatchup.com Inc., LoveAccess.com Inc., Tickle Inc., True.com and Lycos' own Matchmaker.com.

"We did research last year and it revealed that (online) dating customers want a robust and efficient way for searching for dates online," said Curt Degenhart, a Lycos senior product manager.

Lycos Dating Search, as the search engine is called, contains millions of profiles and photos, and Lycos is in the process of striking deals with other online dating providers, he said. The site is at http://datingsearch.lycos.com and there will be a link to it from the main Lycos portal and from other sites on the Lycos network, he said.

Lycos is indexing the full text of the profiles it receives from the dating Web sites, providing in some cases more extensive search capabilities of their content than is possible at the dating sites themselves, Degenhart said.

Lycos Dating Search index will be refreshed on a daily basis, and use of the search engine is free, he said.

After a user runs a query, Lycos Dating Search returns portions of the profiles it finds. To read the full profile, users can click on the search result, which takes them to the original dating site.

Users arriving at the original dating sites from Lycos Dating Search get access to the full text of the profiles even if those profiles are normally not accessible to users who aren't dating-site subscribers, he said. There are no limits to the number of profiles Lycos Dating Search users can view.

Lycos Dating Search provides a variety of features and parameters to frame and narrow queries.

Lycos, a Waltham, Massachusetts-based subsidiary of South Korean Web portal operator Daum Communications Corp., will generate revenue in a number of ways from Lycos Dating Search. Lycos will sell online ads and charge partner dating sites fees. For example, partners will pay Lycos every time a Lycos Dating Search user clicks through to their site and/or every time a user signs up for their service, Degenhart said.

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