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Yahoo shutting down AltaVista

 6:38 am on Jun 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/28/4475774/yahoo-shutting-down-altavista-axis-search-tool-and-other-services [theverge.com]

Yahoo shutting down AltaVista, Axis search tool, and other services in coming days

As part of an ongoing attempt to streamline and reinvent the company, Yahoo has announced that it will be shutting down 12 products in the coming days and months. Among other things, that means that once-popular search engine AltaVista will be shutting down for good on July 8th. AltaVista, which became part of Yahoo nearly a decade into its life in 2003, was a major search destination before Google rose to dominance. Now, Yahoo asks users to "please visit Yahoo! Search for all of your searching needs."


brotherhood of LAN

 6:49 am on Jun 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hasta la vista!

I wonder whether they had a net gain in that purchase 10 years ago. Back then Google had already gained a lot of steam.


 6:53 am on Jun 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

I knew this would come eventually .. too bad too .. AltaVista was one of my "FAVS" for an extremely long time .. even after the Overture and then the Yahoo I still kept AltaVista as my start page ...

Sort of like losing a good friend ...


 10:33 am on Jun 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

A pity. I still have that book about the start of Altavista in the office somewhere. It was a shame that they didn't pay attention to the spam problem but they got overtaken by events and better search engines.



 10:35 pm on Jun 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Fail to see the point of shutting down Altavista. It's a simple wrapper for Yahoo! Search, so it can't cost much to keep that running. More importantly, of course, it's a monument.


 7:00 am on Jun 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

av dot com presently redirects to altavista dot com.

Wonder if they'll sell av dot com for a pretty penny (or 3)?


 12:49 pm on Jun 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

You are right, Hoople, av.com is a valuable domain name. Perhaps they'll decide to build it out themselves, or combine it with the right acquisition.

[edited by: rogerd at 9:01 pm (utc) on Jul 1, 2013]


 8:08 pm on Jun 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is stupid as Alta Vista is just a domain name running on full automation.

It's not like anyone is out developing it or anything.

If there was an IHS (Internet Historical Society) I would have them appeal that decision based on Alta Vista being a true historical landmark and should be restored to it's original look and feel and place in permanent landmark status so our grandkids can see how the internet began.

It was such a big deal and mostly the response speed was what everyone thought was cool because AV gave you answers QUICK!

Oh well, so it goes and Yahoo probably didn't even have a single person assigned to AV, they just didn't want to renew the $35 domain name as it cut into the CEOs bonus.


 8:37 pm on Jun 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

So right incrediBill.

History consigned to the trashcan by Yahoo.


 1:02 am on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

I find it sad myself. Alta Vista has been ravaged, but having the name survive as simply an alternative template for Yahoo! Search seemed like a tribute to a fallen giant.

Yahoo! did the same thing to GeoCities which was actually a service which had monetary value IMHO.

Pure idiocy in any event.


 6:03 am on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

I hope there is someone at Yahoo! that realizes it is only possible to cut your way to profitability for so long. They should at least keep search active at Altavista.com


 12:35 pm on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

I know what particular word that Jonathan Swift would use to describe the management of Yahoo and it is not yahoos! That domain av.com is probably worth more than Yahoo if Yahoo keeps going like this. It is amazing how Yahoo seemed to fail at almost everything (they failed to buy Google when offered) and now they are closing down Altavista. The story seems to be the "interest graph". Well I suppose that Facebook has its "social network graph" and Google has its "knowledge graph" so Yahoo was probably feeling a bit left out and came up with its "interest graph". Not the best branding in a recessionary market and where people are thinking about bank interest on loans and mortgages. They really should rebrand the search element of Yahoo as Altavista and try to compete as a Tier 1 or at least a Tier 2 search engine. Otherwise they are going to be stuck wanting to be Facebook or Bebo, or Myspace or Google.



 1:51 pm on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sad to see AV going. It was my search engine of choice for a long time. In many ways they where pioneers. Google was able to copy them fast, and make progress to where they saw the future lying.

We all see it as history, but for Yahoo! It's a simple business move. AV.com is probably worth more if sold, than yahoo will make from AltaVista.

Yhoo needs to generate revenue from any stream it can. I guess this sale (if it happens) will look great in the accounts.



 2:48 pm on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh, I thought it shut down 10 years ago.

creative craig

 8:42 pm on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

If they keep on one day soon Yahoo will consist of one person sitting in a small dark office with a single light bulb above their heads - just waiting to be cut and closed for good!


 6:29 am on Jul 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is the domain for sale at a throwaway price? I'll buy it.

Shhh ..... Don't tell anyone in case the price goes up.


 9:58 am on Jul 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

@hal12b: I'm with you; I didn't know it was still up.

I think it's important for us all to remember what happened to Alta Vista and how quickly it came about.

In brief, this is my recollection: At one point AV was the top tier search engine with an unlikely url. But they jumped the shark big time. They allowed people to literally buy rankings, as ads. But they didn't look like ads. And they didn't have to have anything to do with the search term they were ranking for.

So almost overnight (this was in the days of male sex organ enlargement ad fad) the SERPS became filled with gross spam. Then news spread that the top ranking responses to search queries in AV were BOUGHT AND PAID FOR! The poor SERPS, coupled with the spreading disgust that AV was selling top spots, topped by the word that a new search engine, called Google, didn't sell out and gave honest, and unsolicited, listings, was enough to practically overnight cause everyone to bail to google.

Google rose to greatness because they simply indexed the internet and gave unbiased responses to keyword searches. That's what people wanted.

How many years did Google wait before they ran their first "paid for" listing? Anybody care to guess? They had to wait a LONG time, because the Alta Vista fiasco was still very fresh in peoples minds.

Why were the first Google "paid" listings a markedly different color? Because Google knew that people had to understand which listings were paid for. (To avoid being "Alta-Vista'd") To this day they are a slightly different color, although they get harder to differentiate every week.

At this point, the average searcher has never heard of Alta Vista. And Google has seemingly forgotten all the lessons learned and what brought them to power in the first place. Google is rapidly approaching that same point that Alta Vista saw: Nearly all the results to most searches are paid for. Search quality, always subjective, is still good, if you like big brands, wikipedia, amazon, eBay, and blogs. Otherwise, it's--unhelpful--at best.

All that's lacking is the third component: a viable alternative.

The stage is set. I think we're in for some exciting times ahead.




 6:14 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was just checking the contents of an old IDE hard disk before it goes in the trash. Found a bunch of old log files with the Scooter user agent. Talk about a blast from the past.

For those who wheren't in the industry "back in the day" Scooter was the crawler UA for AltaVista.



 7:09 am on Jul 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Didnt they pay a fortune for the domain name ?


 10:49 am on Jul 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Altavista.com was bought for a reported $3.3M (more in today's money). It is a bit sad that it is closing as it was the best search engine of its time. However, I didn't really look back when someone showed me Google in late 2000.


 11:18 am on Jul 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mack, you reminded me of scooter, thanks.

Today, when keying in altavista.com or av.com it now redirects to yahoo.


 7:00 pm on Jul 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Wonder just how much traffic those domains actually deliver as a redirect?

I would guess its still a pretty large number.


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