Farewell AltaVista

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Farewell AltaVista

Come July 8, 2013 Yahoo will bid goodbye to one of the world’s first search engines, Alta Vista after 18 years since it’s launch in 1995 when search engines at the time did a poor job of logging information on the web’s rapidly growing population of sites. AltaVista was one of the first search engines to index large amounts of web content and proved hugely popular before Google. The Platform became popular since then and wowed consumers and the industry by indexing more web pages – around 20 million – than was thought to exist at the time. Alta Vista was the creation of US researchers, Paul Flaherty, Louis Monier and Michael Burrows. It was named after the surroundings of the company based in Palo Alto.

In February 2003 Alta Vista was purchased by online advertising company Overture. It would be back in Yahoo!’s possession by July that year when Overture was acquired by Yahoo!. Though technically Alta Vista still has its own homepage, all search results redirect to appear on Yahoo.com and have done so since 2011.

On July 8, that website will no longer exist.

Yahoo! will also be shutting down a number of other services in order to better consolidate its resources.

The announcement was met with sadness from web users, and some surprise that it still existed. Search analyst Danny Sullivan wrote a eulogy for AltaVista on the Search Engine Land site saying the search service was “loved” during its brief heyday and that it deserved a better send off than Yahoo had given it. “Yes, it was time for you to be retired,” he wrote. “But you deserved your own post, not having your closure mixed in among the other many products being axed.”

Goodbye AltaVista, You paved the way for Google.


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