Yahoo bids adieu to AltaVista, shuts down Internet search engine of yore
NEW YORK — Once up on a time, there was a popular search engine called AltaVista. It lives no more.
On Monday, its owner Yahoo Inc. sent AltaVista.com to the Internet graveyard to rest alongside order-almost-anything venture Kozmo.com and the butler from Ask Jeeves.
Palo Alto, Calif.-based AltaVista was introduced in 1995, three years before Google Inc. was founded. Eclipsed by Google in the early 2000s, AltaVista’s star had already faded by the time Yahoo acquired it as part of its $1.7 billion purchase of Overture Services Inc. in July 2003. Overture had bought AltaVista earlier that year from Massachusetts-based CMGI Inc.
AltaVista’s decline began after it expanded to become more like Yahoo, offering a bevy of online services instead of sticking solely with search. By the time the site reversed course, it was too late.
Yahoo’s June 28 announcement of AltaVista’s end is brief. It’s buried as the eighth item on a list of other services the company is shutting down.
According to data from online research firm comScore, most people in the U.S. use Google for their search needs, followed by Microsoft’s Bing. Yahoo is in third place.