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>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>What is AltaVista?

AltaVista was the most popular Internet search engine until the early 2000s. Developed by engineers from the Network Systems Laboratory and the Western Research Laboratory of the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), the search engine was released on December 15, 1995.

The early success of AltaVista

AltaVista was the first full-text searchable database on the World Wide Web. On the first day, the site received about 300,000 queries. Just 2 years later, the number of searches had grown to 80 million per day. Reasons for the fast growing popularity were the minimalistic search mask and the possibility to narrow down the search. The search engine’s fast multithreaded crawler (Scooter) could cover many more web pages than any other search engine at the time. An efficient back-end search with 64-bit alpha processors from DEC ensured that search queries were processed quickly.

Displacement by Google

With the launch of Google in September 1998, DEC’s search engine user numbers began to steadily decline. In 2003, the company was purchased by Overture Services, Inc. for $140 million. A few months later, Overture itself was acquired by Yahoo! As early as December 2010, rumors made the rounds that the search engine was to be discontinued as part of a restructuring of Yahoo! The official end of AltaVista finally followed on 8 July 2013.

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