Infoseek

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Infoseek
Infoseeklogo.png
Type of site
Web search engine
Owner
URLwww.infoseek.com (redirects to Go.com),
www.infoseek.co.jp (Infoseek Japan)
LaunchedJanuary 1994; 26 years ago (1994-01)
Current statusClosed as of 1999

Infoseek (also known as the "big yellow"[1]) was a popular internet search engine founded in 1994 by Steve Kirsch.[2]

Infoseek was originally operated by the Infoseek Corporation, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.[3] Infoseek was bought by The Walt Disney Company in 1999,[4] and the technology was merged with that of the Disney-acquired Starwave to form the Go.com network.[5]

History[edit]

Infoseek launched in January 1994 as a pay-for-use service.[1] The service was dropped in August 1994 and Infoseek was relaunched as Infoseek search in February 1995.[1]

In 1995, Infoseek struck a deal with Netscape to become the default search engine on Netscape Navigator.[1]

On June 11, 1996, Infoseek's initial public offering started trading on Nasdaq (under the name SEEK) at $12 per share.[6]

By September 1997, Infoseek had 7.3 million visitors per month.[7] It was the 7th most visited website that year (5th in 1996) and 10th in 1998.[8] Infoseek acquired the WebChat Broadcasting System in April 1998.[9]

In 1998, Disney purchased a 43% stake of Infoseek, and incorporated the site into its various media businesses. Around the same time, Disney acquired the Starwave Corporation, which included ESPN.com and ABCNews.com.[1] In 1999, Disney acquired the remaining Infoseek stock it didn't own. Disney bundled its Starwave properties and Infoseek and formed the GO.com portal.[4]

Infoseek was among the first search engines to sell advertising on a CPM, Cost Per Thousand Impressions, basis.[1] In 1997, the first Cost Per Click programs, as well as the precursor to pop-ups called daughter windows, was sold by east coast sales executive Robert Formentin to Grey Advertising for a Procter & Gamble Pampers campaign.[citation needed]

In 1998, Infoseek was the first internet company to develop and launch behavioral targeting via its UltraMatch targeting algorithms.[citation needed] In 1999, Infoseek engineer Li Yanhong moved to Beijing, China and co-founded the search engine Baidu.[1] In February 2001, Disney decided to cancel the service and lay off all staff. Also in 2001, Bernt Wahl, Andy Bensky and 15 software engineers, all Infoseek employees, led a management buyout attempt from Disney but were ultimately rebuffed.[10]

Post-demise[edit]

Infoseek's Ultraseek Server software technology, an enterprise search engine product, was sold in 2000 to Inktomi.[1] Under Inktomi, Ultraseek Server was renamed "Inktomi Enterprise Search". In December 2002 (prior to the Yahoo! acquisition of Inktomi), the Ultraseek product suite was sold to a competitor Verity Inc, who re-established the Ultraseek brand name and continued development of the product.

Rakuten agreed in November 2000 to acquire Infoseek Japan for $81 million.[11]

In December 2005, Verity was acquired by Autonomy PLC. Under Autonomy, Ultraseek ceased to be a stand-alone product and became a modular component under the IDOL platform. It continued to be developed and marketed as Autonomy's entry-level keyword-based site search offering until after Autonomy was acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HP) in October 2011.

Domain name[edit]

The Japanese Infoseek website, as of 2019

The "infoseek.com" domain name redirects to "go.com" and the Infoseek brand name is no longer used in North America.[1] However, the Australian domain and the Japanese domain still operate with the Infoseek name.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Short History of Early Search Engines – The History of SEO". www.thehistoryofseo.com. Archived from the original on 2019-01-21. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  2. ^ "Kirsch Foundation About the Founders". www.kirschfoundation.org. Archived from the original on 2017-11-02. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  3. ^ "Contacting Infoseek." Infoseek. July 2, 1997. Retrieved on January 20, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Disney absorbs Infoseek - Jul. 12, 1999". money.cnn.com. Archived from the original on 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  5. ^ "Mike Slade on 80s Microsoft, NeXT, Starwave and Steve Jobs' Return to Apple". Internet History Podcast. Archived from the original on 2019-06-06. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  6. ^ "Infoseek hits Wall Street". CNET. Archived from the original on 2019-01-22. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  7. ^ "Infoseek - a history (from WebSerch)". 2009-05-01. Archived from the original on May 1, 2009. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-01-10. Retrieved 2019-01-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Reuters (1998-04-15). "Infoseek to Buy WebChat Broadcasting". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on 2009-09-11. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  10. ^ "Short History of Early Search Engines – The History of SEO". www.thehistoryofseo.com. Archived from the original on 2018-03-23. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  11. ^ Interactive, Nikkei Net. "Rakuten Agrees to Acquire Infoseek Japan for $81 Million". WSJ. Archived from the original on 2019-01-10. Retrieved 2019-01-09.

External links[edit]