Hot on the heels of AltaVista's Raging Search (see the May 5, 2000 Scout Report
) comes another returned and (somewhat) slimmed-down search engine that focuses on relevant results. Like Raging Search, Excite's new Precision Search uses Google-style link analysis technology ("Deep Analysis") to help identify the most useful sites. Test queries produced consistently relevant results among the top few returns, though an indication of the number of total returns would be helpful, with two banner ads and (in some but not all cases) a Quick Results box on the left that could be quite handy for consumer-related searching. For instance, a search for "Plymouth" yielded links to research and comparisons, blue book values, financing, and service and repair information in the Quick Results box. I was also pleased to see that clicking on one of the other search categories (category, news, photo, audio/video) instantly produces returns for the original query, though the photo databases available seem somewhat limited compared to, say, AltaVista. While users searching for "official" sites will still do best at Google, those who also search for additional resources such as news, photos, and audio/video content may wish to give Excite Precision a run-through.