AltaVista was a Web search engine established in 1995. It became one of the most-used early search engines, but lost ground to Google and was purchased by Yahoo! in 2003, which retained the brand but based all AltaVista searches on its own search engine. On July 8, 2013, the service was shut down by Yahoo! and since then, the domain has redirected to Yahoo!'s own search site.[2]

Altavista logo
Top: 2002–2013 AltaVista logo
Bottom: The AltaVista web portal in 1999
Type of site
Search engine
Available inMultilingual
Key peoplePaul Flaherty, Louis Monier, Michael Burrows, Jeffrey Black
ParentOverture Services (2003)
Yahoo! (2003–2013)
Verizon Media (2017–present)
Alexa rankNegative increase 565,211 (July 2018)[1]
LaunchedDecember 15, 1995
Current statusDefunct (July 8, 2013)[2]


The word "AltaVista" is formed from the words for "high view" or "upper view" in Spanish (alta + vista).[3][4]


AltaVista was created by researchers at Digital Equipment Corporation's Network Systems Laboratory and Western Research Laboratory who were trying to provide services to make finding files on the public network easier.[5] Paul Flaherty came up with the original idea,[6][7] along with Louis Monier and Michael Burrows, who wrote the Web crawler and indexer, respectively. The name "AltaVista" was chosen in relation to the surroundings of their company at Palo Alto, California. AltaVista publicly launched as an Internet search engine on December 15, 1995 at[8][9]

At launch, the service had two innovations that put it ahead of other search engines available at the time: it used a fast, multi-threaded crawler (Scooter) that could cover many more webpages than were believed to exist at the time, and it had an efficient back-end search, running on advanced hardware.

Popularity and technologies

AltaVista was the first searchable, full-text database on the World Wide Web with a simple interface.[10]

As of 1998, it used 20 multi-processor machines using DEC's 64-bit Alpha processor. Together, the back-end machines had 130 GB of RAM and 500 GB of hard disk drive space, and received 13 million queries every day.[11] Another distinguishing feature of AltaVista was its minimalistic interface, which was lost when it became a Web portal, but regained when it refocused its efforts on its search function. It also allowed the user to limit search results from a domain, reducing the likelihood of multiple results from the same source.

AltaVista's site was an immediate success. Traffic increased steadily from 300,000 hits on the first day to more than 80 million hits per day two years later. The ability to search the web, and AltaVista's service in particular, became the subject of numerous articles and even some books.[5] AltaVista itself became one of the top destinations on the web, and in 1997 it earned US$50 million in sponsorship revenue.[12] It was the 11th most visited website in 1998 and in 2000.[13]

AltaVista was the most favored search engine used by professional researchers at the "Internet Search-Off" study in February 1998, with 45 percent of the researchers choosing that. Second place belonged to HotBot at 20 percent.[14] At the time, AltaVista also powered Yahoo!, which was the most popular search website overall.[15]

By using the data collected by the crawler, employees from AltaVista, together with others from IBM and Compaq, were the first to analyze the strength of connections within the budding World Wide Web in a seminal study in 2000.[16]

In 2000, AltaVista was used by 17.7% of internet users while Google was only used by 7% of internet users, according to Media Metrix.[17]

Business transactions

In 1996, AltaVista became the exclusive provider of search results for Yahoo!. In 1998, Digital was sold to Compaq and in 1999, Compaq redesigned AltaVista as a Web portal, hoping to compete with Yahoo!. Under CEO Rod Schrock, AltaVista abandoned its streamlined search page, and focused on adding features such as shopping and free e-mail.[18] In June 1998, Compaq paid AltaVista Technology Incorporated ("ATI") $3.3 million for the domain name – Jack Marshall, cofounder of ATI, had registered the name in 1994.

In June 1999, Compaq sold a majority stake in AltaVista to CMGI, an Internet investment company.[19] CMGI filed for an initial public offering (IPO) for AltaVista to take place in April 2000, but when the Internet bubble collapsed, the IPO was cancelled.[20] Meanwhile, it became clear that AltaVista's Web portal strategy was unsuccessful, and the search service began losing market share, especially to Google. After a series of layoffs and several management changes, AltaVista gradually shed its portal features and refocused on search. By 2002, AltaVista had improved the quality and freshness of its results and redesigned its user interface.[21]

In February 2003, AltaVista was bought by Overture Services, Inc. for $140 million.[22] In July 2003, Overture was taken over by Yahoo!.[23] After Yahoo! purchased Overture, AltaVista used the same search index as Yahoo! Search.[3]

In December 2010, a Yahoo! employee leaked PowerPoint slides indicating that the search engine would shut down as part of a consolidation at Yahoo!.[24]

Free services

AltaVista provided Babel Fish, a Web-based machine translation application that translated text or web pages from one of several languages into another.[25] It was later superseded by Yahoo! Babel Fish in May 2008 and now redirects to Bing's translation service.[3][26][10] AltaVista also provided a free email service, which shut down on March 31, 2002 at 12:00 PM PST and had 400,000 (200,000 active) registered email accounts before shutting down.[27]


On June 28, 2013, Yahoo! announced on its Tumblr page that AltaVista would shut down on July 8, 2013.[28][29][30] Since the day AltaVista shut down, visits to AltaVista's home page are redirected to Yahoo!'s main page.[31]

See also


  1. ^ " Traffic, Demographics and Competitors - Alexa". Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Jun 28th, 2013 (June 28, 2013). "Keeping our Focus on What's Next | Yahoo!". Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Search engine rankings on Alta Vista: a brief history of the AltaVista search engine". Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  4. ^ Sherman, Chris (October 8, 2003). "What's In A (Search Engine's) Name?". Search Engine Watch. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Eric J. Ray; Deborah S. Ray; Richard Selzer (1998), The AltaVista Search Revolution (2nd ed.) (2nd ed.), Osborne/McGraw-Hill
  6. ^ Andrew Alleman (June 1, 2011), "Viking Office Products Tries to Take Sentimental Domain Name from Altavista Inventor's Widow", Domain Name Wire
  7. ^ Daniel B. Banks, Jr. (May 31, 2011), National Arbitration Forum Decision Claim Number: FA1104001383534
  8. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (December 18, 1995), "Digital Equipment Offers Web Browsers Its 'Super Spider'", The New York Times, pp. Late Edition – Final, Section D, Page 4, Column 3, retrieved December 21, 2012
  9. ^ Digital Press and Analysts News (December 15, 1995). "Digital Develops Internet's First 'Super Spider'". Usenet: Retrieved February 26, 2007.
  10. ^ a b "Short History of Early Search Engines – The History of SEO". Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  11. ^ Ricardo Baeza-Yates and Berthier Ribeiro-Neto (1999). Modern Information Retrieval. Addison-Wesley/ACM Press, pp. 374, 390.
  12. ^ John Battelle (2005), The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, Portfolio
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Broder et al., "Graph structure in the web", 9th International WWW Conference (Amsterdam, May 2000) -
  17. ^ Patsuris, Penelope. "Don't Count AltaVista Out Yet". Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  18. ^ Kopytoff, Verne (March 27, 2000), "AltaVista Switches Web Portal Into High Gear", San Francisco Chronicle, p. C–1, retrieved December 21, 2012
  19. ^ Afzali, Cyrus (June 29, 1999), "CMGI Acquires 83 Percent of AltaVista for $2.3 Billion",
  20. ^ Barnes, Cecily (January 10, 2001), "AltaVista cancels proposed IPO",, retrieved December 21, 2012
  21. ^ Glasner, Joanna (November 12, 2002), "AltaVista Makeover: A Better View", Wired
  22. ^ Hansell, Saul (February 19, 2003), "Overture Services to Buy AltaVista for $140 Million", The New York Times
  23. ^ "Yahoo to acquire Overture". July 13, 2003. Archived from the original on July 8, 2007.
  24. ^ "RIP AltaVista, Yahoo Buzz, Delicious, MyBlogLog",, December 16, 2010
  25. ^ "Babelfish: English". April 27, 1999. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  26. ^ "Welcoming Yahoo! Babel Fish users!". Translator. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  27. ^ "AltaVista cans Web mail service". Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  28. ^ "Yahoo! announces closure of AltaVista". The Drum. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  29. ^ "Yahoo shuts down internet relic AltaVista". CBC News. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
  30. ^ "Yahoo sends search engine relic AltaVista to Internet graveyard". National Post. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
  31. ^ "Keeping our Focus on What's Next". Yahoo. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
Alta Vista, Kansas

Alta Vista is a city in Wabaunsee County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 444.

Altavista, Virginia

Altavista is an incorporated town in Campbell County, Virginia, United States. The population was 3,450 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Lynchburg Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Altavista (Zacatecas)

Altavista, or Chalchihuites, is an archaeological site near the municipality of Chalchihuites in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, in the northwest of Mexico. It is believed that the site was a cultural oasis that was occupied more or less continuously from AD 100 to AD 1400.The site is within the "Sierra de Chalchihuites" – from the Nahuatl word chalchíhuitl, the name means "precious stone" – where the Chalchihuites-Chichimec culture was established.

The Altavista name is due to a ranch that existed in the vicinity at the time when archaeologist Manuel Gamio visited the area. There are opinions that this ceremonial center was developed by the Súchil branch of the Chalchihuites culture.The site is related to the Chalchihuites culture that flourished during the Mesoamerican classical period, which had a social and political structure; had a hieroglyphical writing system; and constructed formal cities and ceremonial centers, as they had urbanization techniques, a numbering system, astronomy, and other important knowledge. These people, known as Chalchihuites, found sufficient elements to favor their social, economic and military life, and thus decided to settle here.Altavista was a control center for the turquoise trade route, originating in the oasis-American mines of New Mexico. Population decayed towards the year 800 CE, following a disastrous dry spell that ruined farming in the Mexican semi desert.

It is thought that the high point of cultural flourishing at Altavista occurred during years 400 to 650 CE, that is, in the classical period. The Chalchihuites cultural and ceremonial center represents the maximum northern expansion of Mesoamerica.

This culture spread on the corridor of the eastern flanks of the Sierra Madre Occidental, from west of the State of Zacatecas to Durango, between 100 and 1250 CE., approximately. It is considered a border culture or "culture of transition", according to archaeologist Manuel Gamio classification of Mesoamerican sedentary groups and hunter-gatherer Chichimec groups that inhabited the arid northern plateau.

Altavista High School

Altavista High School is a public high school in Altavista, Virginia. Altavista High School and Middle School are under the same roof and, thus, go by the name Altavista Combined School (Grades 6-12). The current enrollment is estimated to be 700 students (6-12). The mascot is the Colonel, and their teams are known as "The Colonels." The school is a member of VHSL and competes with the Group A Dogwood District.

Altavista petroglyph complex

The Altavista petroglyph complex is located near the village and beach-town of Chacala, south of the Compostela Municipality, in Nayarit Mexico.

The area is known as "La Pila del Rey", "Chacalán", "El Santuario", "The Petroglyphs” or "the Altavista petroglyphs", near the Jaltemba Bay, in the Pacific Ocean of Nayarit.This region was originally home to the largely unstudied Tecoxquin (Tequectequi) native culture dating from approximately 2000 BC to 2300 BCE. It contains 56 petroglyphs whose antiquity cannot be accurately determined. Aside from its cultural and archeological importance, the site remains an important religious center for the Huicholes who still leave offerings and perform ceremonies here.In prehispanic times, the Compostela municipality area was inhabited by the Mazatán peoples, tributary of Xalisco-Zacualpan Kingdom.

Babel Fish (website)

Yahoo! Babel Fish was a free Web-based multilingual translation application. In May 2012 it was replaced by Bing Translator, to which queries were redirected. Although Yahoo! has transitioned its Babel Fish translation services to Bing Translator, it did not sell its translation application to Microsoft outright. As the oldest free online language translator, the service translated text or Web pages in 36 pairs between 13 languages, including English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

The internet service derived its name from the Babel fish, a fictional species in Douglas Adams's book and radio series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that could instantly translate languages. In turn, the name of the fictional creature refers to the biblical account of the confusion of languages that arose in the city of Babel.

Campbell County, Virginia

Campbell County is a United States county situated in the south central part of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Located in the Piedmont region of Virginia, Campbell borders the Blue Ridge Mountains. The county seat is Rustburg.Grounded on a tobacco cash crop economy, Campbell County was created in 1782 from part of Bedford County. The county was named in honor of General William Campbell, hero of the American Revolutionary War.

Campbell County is part of the Lynchburg, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the county population is 54,842. The number of residents has grown steadily in every census after 1930, and the total population has more than doubled since that time.

Chalchihuites Municipality

Chalchihuites is a municipality in the Mexican state of Zacatecas in northwest Mexico. The archaeological site of Altavista, at Chalchihuites, is located 137 miles to the northwest of the city of Zacatecas and 102 miles southeast of the city of Durango. Located to the west of Sombrerete in the northwestern corner of the Zacatecas state, it is believed that the site was a cultural oasis that was occupied more or less continuously from AD 100 to AD 1400.

Colegio Olinca

Instituto Educativo Olinca, S.C., operating as the Colegio Olinca ("Olinca School"), is a private school system in Mexico. It serves preschool, kindergarten, primary, middle school (secundaria), and high school (preparatoria).It has three campuses: Altavista in Álvaro Obregón, Mexico City; Periférico in Coyoacán, Mexico City; and Cuernavaca in Cuernavaca, Morelos. The Colegio Amaranto Los Cabos, BCS is associated with the school.

Juan Carlos Altavista

Juan Carlos Altavista (January 4, 1929 in Buenos Aires – July 20, 1989) was an Argentine actor and comedian.

Juan Thornhill

Juan Thornhill is an American football safety for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He played college football at the University of Virginia.

Mesoamerican pyramids

Mesoamerican pyramids or pyramid-shaped structures form a prominent part of ancient Mesoamerican architecture. Although similar to each other in some ways these New World structures with their flat tops (many with temples on the top) and their stairs bear only a very weak architectural resemblance to Egyptian pyramids. The Mesoamerican region's largest pyramid by volume – the largest pyramid in the world by volume – is the Great Pyramid of Cholula, in the east-central Mexican state of Puebla. The builders of certain classic Mesoamerican pyramids have decorated them copiously with stories about the Hero Twins, the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl, Mesoamerican creation myths, ritualistic sacrifice, etc.written in the form of hieroglyphs on the rises of the steps of the pyramids, on the walls, and on the sculptures contained within.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Campbell County, Virginia

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Campbell County, Virginia.

This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Campbell County, Virginia, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in a Google map.There are 15 properties and districts listed on the National Register in the county. Another property was once listed but has been removed.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted May 17, 2019.

Special routes of U.S. Route 29

Several special routes of U.S. Route 29 exist. In order from south to north they are as follows.

Virginia State Route 43

State Route 43 (SR 43) is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of Virginia. The state highway consists of two disjoint segments that have a total length of 61.20 miles (98.49 km). The southern portion of the state highway runs 39.79 miles (64.04 km) from U.S. Route 29 Business (US 29 Bus.) in Altavista north to the Blue Ridge Parkway at Peaks of Otter. The northern segment has a length of 21.41 miles (34.46 km) between the Blue Ridge Parkway near Buchanan and US 220 in Eagle Rock. The two sections of SR 43 are connected by 4.9 miles (7.9 km) of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The southern portion of the state highway connects Altavista with Bedford and Peaks of Otter. The northern section of SR 43 follows the James River through a narrow valley (Narrow Passage Road) between Buchanan and Eagle Rock.

SR 43 is a Virginia Byway except south of the US 29 bypass of Altavista.


WGVY is an oldies formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Altavista, Virginia, serving Southern Campbell and Northern Pittsylvania counties in Virginia. WGVY is owned and operated by D.J. Broadcasting, Inc.


WKDE-FM is a Classic-based Country formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Altavista, Virginia, serving Altavista, Bedford, and Lynchburg in Virginia. WKDE-FM is owned and operated by D.J. Broadcasting, Inc.


WODI is a sports talk formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Brookneal, Virginia, serving Brookneal and Altavista in Virginia. WODI is owned and operated by JKC Media Ventures LLC.In September 2013, it was reported that the owners of WODI had asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to cease broadcasting temporarily because of technical problems which had caused the transmitter to shut down repeatedly.


Witchblade is a comic book series published by Top Cow Productions, an imprint of Image Comics, which ran from November 1995 to October 2015. The series was created by Top Cow founder and owner Marc Silvestri, editor David Wohl, writers Brian Haberlin and Christina Z, and artist Michael Turner.

The Witchblade comic was adapted into a television series in 2001, as well as an anime, a manga and a novel in 2006. A feature film based on the comic, titled The Witchblade, was announced for a 2009 release, but was never produced. A second Witchblade television series was announced for development in January 2017.Top Cow announced in September 2017 that the Witchblade comic would be relaunched in December 2017 with the creative team of writer Caitlin Kittredge and artist Roberta Ingranata. The series features journalist Alex Underwood as the main character.

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