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searchUK -- which brags that it's the world's largest UK-only search engine, arf, arf -- is attempting to go head-to-head with market leader Inktomi to become a major provider of search services. It's planning to license its search engine technology to portals and Web sites to provide what it calls a low-cost option that's a "powerful alternative to Inktomi". Unlike competitors, such as Inktomi, searchUK enables a licensed search engine to be built from the ground-up, rather than providing re-hashed versions of an existing database, it claims in its promotional bumf. Ed Burt, founder of searchUK, is equally bullish: "searchUK is one of a handful of search engines in the world which own the rights to their search technology. "We've proved it works so now we're offering companies all of the power but none of the pain," he said. The Brentford-based company has already sold its service to Times Money, providing the internal search facility for Web site, and believes others will follow suit once they've seen the application for themselves. But Joe Frost, product marketing manager for Inktomi, which serves more than 20 sites including AOL, BT and Disney, believes having the application is only part of the story. With a third of all Web content already stored in Inktomi's databases, Frost believes that any company entering this rapidly expanding marketplace needs to be able to process a mass of data to ensure that what is presented is accurate and relevant. Still, ten out of ten to searchUK for trying. And ten out of ten to Inktomi for being an alternative to searchUK. ®

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