AltaVista's Search Goes On

from the keep-searching dept

I remember back in 1996, at the beginning of the “portal wars”, someone pointing out that AltaVista was sticking to “just being a search engine” and didn’t seem interested in competing with Yahoo, which was quickly emerging as the portal to watch. The thought, at the time, was that AltaVista (which powered Yahoo’s search) just wanted to be an expert in search and leave the portal stuff to others. Of course, that was right before the big boom, when portals were all the rage, and AltaVista had a change of heart – and went portal. Of course, they did that badly, and have done a bunch of other things badly as well. The Guardian is looking at their roundabout path all the way back to focusing just on search technology. Of course, with every new business model, they lost a step on the company that stayed with search all along: Google. Many people think it will be difficult for AltaVista to ever catch up with Google.

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