AltaVista the oldest search engine is no more!

When I first started using the internet it was mainly to look up email from cousins and relatives abroad. This was back in 1999 and Google was not as famous, Gmail was not even around and it was still 5 years before anything like Facebook happened.

Alta Vista was the first search engine I had probably used and it felt awesome that you could type in just about anything into a text box and get relevant results. So it was a little sad to see Yahoo declare the end of Alta Vista search engine for good. Alta Vista was probably not the oldest search engine but was the oldest as far as popularity was concerned. The search engine shuts down on 8th July.

alta_vista_1999
Alta Vista Search engine back in 1999

Wrong decisions in the past

While Google started catching attention, Alta Vista was still at the height of it’s popularity. Alta Vista had a simple design with focus on search results. The company was bought by Compaq and a series of changes happened. One of them was to make the website more a portal and less a search engine.

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This lead to the steady decline of Alta Vista as a search engine and Google became king over time. Alta Vista was then sold to CMGI who was going to float a IPO for Alta Vista. This was in 2000 and the internet bubble burst, finishing off Alta Vista’s chances of becoming a publicly listed company.

Then Alta Vista was bought by Overtures which in turn was acquired by Yahoo. This made Alta Vista a Yahoo product and like many products owned by Yahoo, Alta Vista kept on the decline.

Today along with several other older services, Yahoo announced it would be shut down. An important part of internet’s living history is now a closed chapter.

(via Yahoo Blog)

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