AllTheWeb Bites the Dust? | March 4, 2004

When I started using the web, there were a large number of popular search engines and directories to choose from. I started using WebCrawler, Magellan, then I moved to Yahoo, AltaVista, Lycos and HotBot. I’d have a favourite, but would still tend to use 2 or 3 search engines at any one time. Then along came Google and slowly word of mouth made it the Search Engine of choice for the majority of web users.

As more and more people started to use Google, the other Search Engines began to loose market share and either fold or get subsumed by other search services. A few smaller search engines like Teoma appeared, but they never managed to achieve popularity of Google.

Apart from Google, the only other Search Engine I use is AllTheWeb. AllTheWeb is a great search engine and is definitely on par with Google in terms of usability and relevancy. In fact, as Google’s results seem to be getting worse and worse by the day, I always saw AllTheWeb as a real competitor to Google. So it’s a shame that Yahoo, who acquired AllTheWeb a while back, look like they are going to drop AllTheWeb.

Rather than improving their position in the market, by dumping AllTheWeb, Yahoo seems to be getting get rid of Google’s closest competitor, in terms of size and relevancy, if not in market share.

Posted at March 4, 2004 9:57 AM


Stew said on March 4, 2004 11:17 PM

Yeah Google’s getting bad because people have learnt how to play with the API (or at least I assume it the API) to create fake page based upon teh search strings.

It depends what you search for but sometimes it can be very hard to find a proper page.

I am actually in the middle of doing a piece on this for my own blog, if you want I’ll keep you updated when its up :)

Andrew Bolte said on March 4, 2004 11:38 PM

Vivisimo has a pretty good search engine, not quite up to snuff with AllTheWeb and Google, but it features clustered searches. Good stuff.

Drew McLellan said on March 4, 2004 11:59 PM

As Yahoo! bought AllTheWeb, then this is possibly just as case of mistaken identity. Yahoo! now have all the expertise that went into making AllTheWeb so good, and having just dropped Google as their search provider, I imagine they’re looking to put that expertise to use under their main brand. Yahoo! is such a major brand that it’s not sensible to do anything else.

Alanna said on March 5, 2004 12:19 AM

Woh. Yahoo! dropped Google? That is monumental, yet I haven’t heard a thing. I would be interested to see Yahoo! implement AllTheWeb as their search engine provider. A little competition would do Google good.

Michael said on March 5, 2004 12:50 AM

I think Yahoo! is focussing on the portal strategy and tries to shed any other engines that might be too close to Google. Yahoo!’s strategy probably is: we either go against Google full-blast using AllTheWeb or we try to do it via a broader and more nicey-nicey looking front end (like Yahoo!). A bit like AOL really.

Chris Vincent said on March 5, 2004 2:37 AM

Seems like a classic case of buying the company for the technology, then closing that company. Much like Microsoft likes to do at times.

Regardless, we’ll see how things fare. I’m still sticking to Google because, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a good company.

Andy Budd said on March 5, 2004 7:59 AM

It was first thought that Yahoo were buying AllTheWeb to use as their replacement to Google (which they only dropped a week or so ago). However they appear to have developed their own crawler and it looks like they plan to poach the talent from AltaVista and AllTheWeb, then shut those SE’s down.

Pete Trachy said on March 6, 2004 7:29 AM

All the Web was initially purchased by Overture which was then devoured by Yahoo. Altavista and All the Web will supposedly stick arround but with their results powered by Yahoo’s new engine, which will produce money via ppc inclusion feeds. Yahoo’s new search is supposedly something unique, not Inktomi, Altavista or All the Web.

Your favorite blog spammers have all been discussing it in the Yahoo forum here ht*p://