The Searching Graveyard
Even before the internet bubble burst, great search tools have gone extinct.
Other search tools still exists, but have changed.
Here they are, organized approximately chronologically by inception (oldest is last), along with some of their older logos.
In This Page:
Raging Search was created by AltaVista in 2000 to as a stripped down search to compete with Google. It didn't last long (until 2001),
and it is now AltaVista's text-only search.
Northern Light was concieved in 1995 and went online in 1997. Northern Light was sometimes known as a research engine, it had great technology including topic clustering, it was unique in having
special collection documents, and it had powerful advanced searching and search alerts. In January 2002, it closed its free public search engine to concentrate on enterprise customers. More details about the old Northern Light engine
are available here. Their news search is still available.
WebTop was a quality search engine with a fairly large database. It divided the internet into "zones" such as sports, games, etc, and it also had a news search powered by Moreover.
It was discontinued in November 2001, and the website now redirects to Smartlogik, which sells its technology to businesses.
Inktomi was founded in 1996 by Eric Brewer and Paul Gauthier, at the University of California at Berkeley.
Originally Inktomi itself was a search engine, but they changed their business model. Today Inktomi (among other things)
licenses their index to other search tools, such as MSN, iWon, HotBot, AOL, LookSmart, and others. Yahoo was, but is no longer on that list.
Infoseek (and GO)
Infoseek began in 1995 as a directory. In 1996, they also released their search engine, Infoseek Ultra.
Infoseek was purchased in 1999 by Disney, which evolved Infoseek into the GO portal. The GO
portal still exists, but now the search engine is powered by Overture (formerly GoTo), which has paid listings.
Deja, or DejaNews began in 1995 as a web-based location for reading, posting, and searching Usenet. Deja also tried to become a source for shopping. In 2001, struggling Deja sold their usenet assets to Google. Read Google's
press release. Google Groups now has all the basic usenet features that Deja had, and has put back online usenet
postings since 1995.
MetaCrawler, HuskySearch and Grouper
These three meta search engines all originated at the University of Washington, and MetaCrawler still exists. Husky Search suggested terms to help you modify your query,
and Grouper had topic clustering. Both of these tools were around from 1997 to 2000. More information is available on the
University of Washington's website.
Architext opened Excite in 1995, the idea of "five hackers and a political science major." It became Excite Inc.,
acquired Magellan and WebCrawler, and merged to become Excite@Home. When Excite@Home went bankrupt in 2001, the search engine
part of the Excite portal was bought by InfoSpace. They replaced Excite's search engine results from Overture (pay-per-click),
and added the Dogpile meta search engine and the Open Directory
See Excite's history in more detail.
Magellan or "Magellan Internet Guide," like Snap, was a web directory, which had comprehensive reviews of websites. It was purchased by Excite, and phased out.
Snap (and NBCi)
Snap was a web directory, competing with Yahoo and LookSmart. It was started by C|Net and NBC, and later became NBCi.
Today NBCi has abandoned the Snap directory and instead uses results from the Dogpile meta search engine.
Here is an old review of Snap from 1999.
Lycos was founded in 1994, a research project by Dr. Michael Mauldin at Carnegie Mellon University.
Lycos went on to purchase Wired Digital (owner of the HotBot search engine), merge to become Terra Lycos,
and make a number of other acquisitions. The Lycos search engine, however, no longer exists. Results from searching on Lycos today come from Fast Search, HotBot,
the Open Directory, and Direct Hit. See today's Lycos search.
WebCrawler began in 1994 as a research project by Brian Pinkerton at the University of Washington. It was sold to AOL in 1995
and then to Excite in 1996. Excite operated it separately, and later gave up on WebCrawler's index and used its own
(so WebCrawler results were the same as Excite's). WebCrawler always had a small index compared to other search engines,
and was unique in showing only website titles, so the results page was very clean. In 2001, Excite went bankrupt and the search engine
now uses results from Overture (pay-per-click).
WWWW (World Wide Web Worm)
The World Wide Web Worm was developed by Oliver McBryan in 1994. WWWW was purchased in 1998 by GoTo (now Overture). Nothing of WWWW remains today.
In the mid 1980s, Open Text (a Canadian corporation) digitized the Oxford English Dictionary, which it made searchable.
In 1994, Open Text made its appearance on the internet, with the Open Text 4 search engine.
More details about Open Text's history is available here.
Open Text at that time also made products for corporate intranets, which they still do today. Today they also operate Query Server,
a meta search engine which they acquired. Query Server has an option for clustering results by topic, site, and both. See Topic Clustering.
There are more extinct search tools, such as Harvest, NetGuide Live, JumpStation, AliWeb, Starting Point. If you have any information about these or others, tell us.
This page was last updated on January 19, 2002. Submit changes here.