It’s hard to picture a time before Google was to the web what Coke is to soda pop and Hershey’s is to candy – as in a household name and defining brand. But there was indeed a time before Google and there were also plenty of other search engines which at the time were ruling the roost in a big way. One of the most popular of all you might remember was Alta Vista, which toward the turn of the century was still going strong.
Well, chalk another casualty up for the 21st century web that pretty much belongs to Google and another couple of heavy-hitters – Alta Vista has officially gone the way of the dinosaurs.
The announcement was made yesterday by executives at Yahoo, who revealed that after 18 years of faithful service we’d no longer be able to hit up Alta Vista for what we were looking for. Despite having a three year advantage over Google by launching as early as 1995, it would come to be not only overtaken but eventually pushed out of contention altogether.
At the time of Alta Vista’s peak, it was handling up to 80 million hits every day, which at the time was a quite staggering level of traffic. The company was taken over by Yahoo in 2003, but after a decade of not really bringing anything of huge value to the company, Alta Vista is no more.