These days many still aren't looking very far for a search engine: Google remains dominant, but an aberrant few are into Bing, Baidu, Yahoo! and Ask.com.
Some web crawlers were crushed by the Chocolate Factory's massive popularity, others morphed into something else entirely, these are the old navigators of what we once and without irony called the World Wide Web. Unsurprisingly, most of them are linked. So let's play the connect game, starting with:
Ask folks to name an old search engine, and AltaVista is the one that springs most readily to mind. It was created by researchers Paul Flaherty, Louis Monier and Michael Burrows at the once mighty Digital Equipment Corporation, or DEC, as a way to retrieve files from the public network more easily.
AltaVista was launched for everyone else's use in 1995 and immediately took off. Monier's web crawler was fast and multi-threaded and could cover a lot more web pages than other engines using advanced DEC hardware, making it the first full-text database of the net.
A year later, AltaVista was providing Yahoo!'s search results and getting millions of hits every day, but like most of the old guard, its popularity was going to be short lived. DEC was snapped up by Compaq in 1998 and the following year Compaq redesigned the once clean interface to a portal, much like Yahoo!'s, with shopping, email and other stuff provided."
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