Inktomi Picked By Yahoo, Snap

Inktomi Picked By Yahoo, Snap

From The Search Engine Report
June 3, 1998

Inktomi's strategy of being the brains behind other search services, rather than starting its own, paid off big for the company in May. Inktomi signed agreements to begin powering both Yahoo and Snap searches.

Both services have their own listings, but when a search fails to find a match within these, it will automatically be forwarded to the Inktomi database.

AltaVista had been providing Yahoo with this service over the past two years. However, AltaVista has restructured itself to be more of a competitor to Yahoo, making it a main reason why Yahoo decided to go with a new, non-competitive partner.

"Inktomi had the best business model, which is a pure OEM play. AltaVista, on the other hand, has decided to move a little bit more into adding other services beside search," said Jeff Mallett, Yahoo's chief operating officer.

Yahoo will oversee the sales of all banner ads and partnership positioning on Inktomi-produced results pages. In contrast, DoubleClick had previously sold inventory on these pages for AltaVista, at the end of the previous deal.

Both AltaVista and Yahoo left the partnership on good terms. AltaVista's technical director Louis Monier described it as a "happy divorce."

AltaVista will continue to be positioned within Yahoo at the bottom of each results page. Yahoo has provided links to other search engines in this location since it began. Now AltaVista, along with two or three other search engines yet to be named, will pay for the privilege of being more prominently positioned there. Clicking on links in this area automatically sends the search to the selected search engine.

Inktomi will take over for AltaVista within the next two months at Yahoo. Meanwhile, it has already begun providing a similar service for Snap. Infoseek was the previous partner there, and it will continue to power searches on Cnet's service.

Sam Parker, Snap's Vice President of Product Development, named all the same reasons for going with Inktomi as Yahoo had. Inktomi's non-competitive OEM model and top search technology made it an easy choice, he said.

Inktomi also continues to power its first partner, HotBot, and will be the brawn behind the new Microsoft search service that is supposed to launch later this year.


Buddy, You're a Rival Now
Wired, May 20, 1998

Details on the AltaVista-Yahoo split.

AltaVista steps aside on Yahoo, May 18, 1998,4,22242,00.html

Inktomi to power Snap search, May 6, 1998,4,21845,00.html