will end the development of the AltaVista
and AlltheWeb search engines, but will keep the
did need a search engine. Yahoo! had found
that searchers preferred regular search engine
results to hand picked directory listings.
Regular search results at the Yahoo! site was
therefore delivered by Google. As a long term
strategy it does not make sense to rely on your
main competitor in this way.
clearly needed an alternative, and bought
the three search engines. However, the costs would be
enormous to keep three different development
teams developing three different search engines and it would make
more sense to try to merge the competences
acquired, even if there were cultural
differences and geographical distances (The
AlltheWeb team is in Norway).
had already started integrating the development
teams of old timer AltaVista and the Norwegian
AlltheWeb search engine. It is now clear that
Yahoo! decided to go one step further, and
replace the old search engines with a brand new
one: the Yahoo! search engine. In February
Yahoo! replaced Google with the new search
engine at their own Yahoo!
portal. The new search engine showed great
similarities with the old Inktomi search engine,
as many of the listings where the same.
search engine algorithm -- i.e. the process that
decide the order of search results -- was new,
however, and the fact that Yahoo! sent out a new
search engine robot crawling the Net for sites
and pages proved that Yahoo! was indeed building
a new search engine.
had been criticized for sticking to Google for
too long. It now, appears that they had been
biding their time, testing the new search
technology. It would have been suicide for
Yahoo! to launch a search service that did not
deliver the quality their users have come to
expect. Google has proved, once and for all,
that the quality and relevance of search results
is essential for success in this market.
what will happen to the old search engines? We
have had our doubts about the quality of the
Inktomi search engine. By all means, it could
deliver decent results, but has been plagued by
spam and irrelevant listings. AltaVista, once
the king of the hill, continues to deliver good
results, even if the database is a bit small.
AlltheWeb, on the other hand, has proved itself
worthy as Google's match, both as regards
relevance and scope.
is therefore with a certain sadness we have to
announce that the AltaVista and AlltheWeb search
engines are going to die. In the near future
Yahoo! will replace these unique search engines
with data from the new Yahoo! search engine.
will keep the two sites as experimental portals.
Hence there will be differences as regards the
support for advanced searching etc. But the core
technology will be new. The Inktomi search
engine never had its own portal. It now delivers
data to sites like MSN and HotBot. Whether it
also will be replaced by Yahoo! search is
unclear at the moment, but most likely.
this really necessary? Did Yahoo! need three
search engines in order to develop a new one?
not. We guess the original plan was to develop
Inktomi into the new "Google killer".
Yahoo! soon realized, however, that they also
needed a third service, in addition to the old
Yahoo! directory and the new Yahoo! search
engine -- a service that could bring in real
therefore bought Overture, the most important
pay-per-click text ad search engine in the
world. As an added bonus they got AlltheWeb and
AltaVista and a lot of clever search programmers
doing so, they also stopped MSN from buying
these technologies, thus forcing Bill Gates
& Co. to develop a brand new search engine
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