updated 10/5/2004 9:07:19 PM ET 2004-10-06T01:07:19

Following a recent industry trend, Internet giant Yahoo Inc. is adding new search engine tools that will enable users to create personal folders and share their favorite links with others.

Sunnyvale-based Yahoo expects to begin testing the new features Tuesday at http://next.yahoo.com.

With the new tools, Yahoo's search engine users will be able to sort and save their search results into distinct categories. Visitors also will be able to record personal notes about the saved sites.

Yahoo's upgrade is similar to features recently introduced by two other Internet search engines, Ask Jeeves Inc. and A9.com, which is owned by online retailing giant Amazon.com Inc.

By offering more ways to customize results, the major search engines are hoping visitors will return to their sites more frequently and stay longer once they're there. The search engines rely on a steady stream of traffic to increase their advertising revenue _ the industry's financial lifeblood.

Users of Yahoo's new personalization tools will be able to share their shared results through e-mail or an increasingly popular method for distributing Web links called "RSS" _ shorthand for Really Simple Syndication.

Yahoo's other new features include a spam-fighting feature that can block irrelevant or unwanted Web sites from appearing in search results.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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