We’ll forgive you if you thought that AltaVista had already hit the digital cemetery about a decade ago. We’ll also forgive you if you thought this story was just a practical joke.
But this is no joke: Up until late last night you could still search AltaVista, the popular search engine from the late 1990s. But that was the last time you could. Yahoo, which purchased the company in 2003, shut down the site early this morning. Now when you visit altavista.com it will redirect you to — you guessed it — Yahoo.com.
The company announced the shutdown via its Tumblr blog on June 28. “Please visit Yahoo! Search for all your searching needs,” the post said.
AltaVista, for those out there who don’t remember the yellow-and-blue colored webpage, was one of the first web search engines. Launched in 1995, it competed with others at the time, including Excite.com and Lycos.com.
Of course, the story of AltaVista is like that of a number of other early Internet and web tools. It just couldn’t keep up, and the Yahoos and Googles of the world surpassed it in technology and design.
SearchEngineLand.com, a website dedicated to covering search trends, has a great write-up on the history of the site.
Sure, today might have been the first day you have thought of AltaVista since Bill Clinton was president, but all is not lost. If you are still looking to relive some of the AltaVista years, you can check out some of the images through the Wayback Machine.