AltaVista was one of the earliest search engines on the web, launching in 1995. It was a potent and popular tool at the time, allowing users to search through vast amounts of indexed web pages. AltaVista quickly became a significant player in the search engine market and set the standard for other search engines like Google, Yahoo! and MSN.
The company also pioneered advanced features such as natural language queries and clustering technology, setting the stage for more sophisticated algorithms that would eventually emerge. In the mid-90s, AltaVista’s main competitors were Lycos and Excite.