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One of the most popular search engines of yesteryears. Now barely used and owned by Yahoo. See Also:

See Also:

SEO, Page Rank, Deep Linking, Linkage

Altavista search engine

Digital Equipment Corporation’s Western Research Laboratory created Altavista search engine. The idea was of two researchers Louis Monier and Michael Burrows. 15 December 1995 AltaVista was publicly launched as an internet search engine at

MileStones in the history of AltaVista:
  • 1996, AltaVista became the exclusive provider of search results for Yahoo!
  • 1998, Digital was sold to Compaq
  • 1999, Compaq re-launched AltaVista as a web portal, hoping to compete with Yahoo!
  • June 1998, Compaq paid AltaVista Technology Incorporated (“ATI”) $3.3 million for the domain name
  • June 1999, Compaq sold a majority stake in AltaVista to CMGI
  • February 2003, AltaVista was bought by Overture Services, Inc.

This is the first search engine that gives index to every word on a page and provides a retrieval system to extract relevant information.
In more than 25 languages and a variety of versions, AltaVista search engine is available. AltaVista is considered as a crawler-based search engine. This means that it sends out software programs called spiders, or crawlers, to search for the Web and index websites.

AltaVista Search Home Page has a search bar smack in the center with various tabbed search options, including Images, MP3/Audio, News, and Video.

AltaVista has a special feature ‘BabelFish’ which can translate a block of text into another language.

AltaVista also provides Altavista toolbar that can be downloaded from the website. This toolbar provides all the Advance Search options along with ‘BabelFish’.

Features of AltaVista:
  • Various META tags, that have focus on the Keywords and Description. META tags are supported by Altavista.
  • It sends spiders and follows all links it finds on a website and indexes them into its database. The degree of control of spidering can be done through standardized robots governing file or META tags.
  • It does not tolerate websites that try to “spam” or Black Hat their index with the same page over and over again. Repeated words often in a META tags may get the web site demoted or removed from AltaVista’s index.
  • It supports full page indexing including all ALT image tags, image maps, and frames. Additionally, any in-line text and actual content on your pages are indexed with the exception of HTML comments. Upper and lower case are also recognized differently with AltaVista, so it is suggested to select keywords attentively.
  • Before returning any results, it attempts to match keywords to Real Names, a commercial keyword system where buyers reserve keywords to be associated to their website or organization. Obtaining a Real Name will help to boost up the web site ranking to the top of AltaVista. Real Names charges are $100/year/keyword
  • Lots of websites link to the target web site and will help to gain higher rank in AltaVista’s rankings.
  • Submission time for getting listed in AltaVista takes about 2-5 days.
  • AltaVista provides special reserved triggers which can help assess a website ranking and positioning once it is submitted to AltaVista.
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