A popular search engine with the largest database on the web, indexing more than 140 million pages. Its main URL is http://www.altavista.com. Until 1998, this search engine provided the search facility for Yahoo. Altavista indexes all the words in a web page, and new pages are normally added to the database fairly quickly, within a couple of working days. You are asked to submit just the main page of your site. The Altavista spider will then explore your site and index a representative sample of the pages. Some problems with spamming have been noticed. The use of keyword meta tags is penalized. Altavista places various alternative options before its search results, including suggested questions (using the Ask Jeeves service), RealNames. Paid entries are beginning to appear at the start of the search results.
The search engine ( view history) that was once the best in the world but which suffered from a name that sounded very much like hasta la vista, baby. Spookily prescient.
AltaVista, Overture Services, Inc is a search services and technology provider. Based in Sunnyvale, California, they have 61 search-related patents. For more information, see www.altavista.com.