AltaVista Introduces Search Toolbar

AltaVista has launched a Search Toolbar that lets you query its web, news and multimedia search capabilities while visiting any page on the web.

he toolbar is similar to those offered by Google, Teoma, HotBot and others, with functions including search, highlighting of keywords in results, last search results, and so on.

AltaVista's toolbar does have a few of unique features that will appeal to some. This includes direct access to AltaVista's Babel Fish translation function, a "shortcuts lookup" and access to its large multimedia catalog.

The translation capability is probably the toolbar's most useful function. AltaVista's language translation feature translates words and Web pages into 10 languages, including English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Swedish, Japanese, Korean, and Russian.

Multimedia search is also useful, allowing you to tap into AltaVista's large index of more than 550 million image, audio and video files.

The shortcuts lookup feature provides answers to specific questions, such as the local time in major cities, U.S. area and ZIP code lookups, currency exchange rates and weather for locations worldwide.

While not notably innovative, the launch of AltaVista's search toolbar is a clear signal that the company isn't just going to fade away now that it is part of the Overture/Yahoo empire.

Search Engine Watch editor Danny Sullivan and I visited AltaVista last week, and were offered a glimpse of the company's planned products and strategies. While we're not able to write about anything we heard about just yet, we came away with the feeling that the company has been re-energized, and intends to fully leverage its own strengths with those of its sister companies AlltheWeb, Overture and Yahoo.

Stay tuned.

AltaVista Toolbar Download

Requires Internet Explorer version 5.0 and above, running on Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME and XP. AltaVista's toolbar is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Google is most popular but others may do it better...
San Francisco Chronicle Aug 18 2003 2:15PM GMT
Microsoft search development threatens LookSmart figures...
Netimperative Aug 18 2003 12:55PM GMT
TOP 20: Search terms on MSN...
Netimperative Aug 18 2003 9:35AM GMT
The bubble that didn't burst...
Guardian Unlimited Aug 18 2003 8:11AM GMT
Q&A - Resubmitting to the Search Engines...
About Web Search Aug 18 2003 5:14AM GMT
New wave of newsreader software makes sense of the Web... Aug 17 2003 10:33AM GMT
Google Searches the Web And Does Math Homework...
Washington Post Aug 17 2003 2:07AM GMT
Search Engine Show to Highlight Industry Changes... Aug 16 2003 10:33AM GMT
Yahoo may continue AltaVista site...
Computer Weekly Aug 15 2003 11:10AM GMT
Internet withstands US blackout, say analysts...
Daily Mail & Guardian Aug 15 2003 8:39AM GMT
Filesharers turn tables on music industry...
Guardian Unlimited Aug 15 2003 8:15AM GMT
Google offers users bigger, better toolbar... Aug 15 2003 7:45AM GMT
Search Engines Find Traffic for Shoe Retailer... Aug 15 2003 6:09AM GMT
powered by

About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was's Web Search Guide.