Now This Log

Thursday, 30 August 2001 : "AltaVista"

Just the other day I was wondering aloud whatever happened to AltaVista; I never see it come up in online discussions any more, and I certainly never hear its name in conversation. Turns out I'm not alone: PC World checked it out and found it a bit behind on its indexing:
  • AltaVista May Leave Users Searching [PCWorld, snagged from Tomalak's Realm]
    No new Web pages have been added for months to the index behind the regional search sites, AltaVista confirmed on Tuesday.

    AltaVista says the index is outdated because the database that holds the regional URLs is being merged with the main international database. ... Ultimately the merger of the two indexes should result in a better search service, but the new Web index won't be ready for about another month...
I remember when AltaVista was the best search engine I could find; I used that for text searches and Yahoo for category searches, and that worked quite well for a very long time.

Then there was HotBot, which was better at some things (like finding people by name), then Google came along and fairly quickly became the best at everything I need a search engine for. It even took over first place in category searching from Yahoo. And it remains free to use.

All this to say: Google rules, AltaVista's comparative toast. If Google sold a black or white t-shirt that didn't say "I'm feeling lucky!" [rolls eyes], I'd probably buy it.

Links, exploration and
synthesis from
Steve Bogart

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