Some of you didn’t even know that AltaVista ever existed. Once upon a time, before the whole Internet fell addicted to Google, there was AltaVista. Yesterday, Yahoo made a decision to kill it off on July 8 along with other products. The reason given by Yahoo was that they are focusing on some new great essential products which will give users a better experience. If you were using AltaVista, but I assume you haven’t, from now on you need to use “Yahoo! Search” to satisfy your search needs.
This move will free up some space and people working on these products will focus their attention on future products. AltaVista was a contender in the past and now it has been inactive for a pretty long period of time. We were clearly surprised when we heard that this search engine still exists. We even saw numerous tweets on Twitter sharing our thoughts about AltaVista.
AltaVista appeared in December 1995 and it indexed 20 million web pages right from the start. Its popularity has grown really fast and someone will say that it was just as popular as Google at its time. As the time passed Digital Equipment, the parent company, didn’t have any idea what to do with it. In 1998 Digital was bought by Compaq and AltaVista got its first domain, altavista.com. In 1999 CMGI bought AltaVista and four years later, Overture has became the parent company of this search engine. In the same year, 2003, AltaVista has become a part of Yahoo’s in-house search tech. That was the beginning of the end because it was too weak for the powerful Google.
I’m sure that everyone that ever used AltaVista is now using Google for their needs. If you want to read more about how this search engine has performed or what was the whole history of it you should read “The Search” by John Battelle or “In The Plex” by Steven Levy.
According to some analysts, “Please Visit Yahoo! Search for all of your searching needs” is not a great departure note. It has been retired for so long but it has changed the whole search engine game. That’s why Yahoo needed to give the proper respect and pay more attention on AltaVista’s role. But that’s how it is. On July 8 we will say good bye to another great product.