AltaVista Lays Off Staff, Promises Profits, New Direction In Search
AltaVista has tightened its belt in the quest to become profitable by letting 25 percent of its staff go last month. The company expects the restructuring and other changes will help it become profitable by the end of next January. Simultaneously, the company announced that it would continue to focus more on search, aiming for a "third generation" service that would intelligently determine what information best satisfies a user, such as automatically providing shopping results rather than web page matches or serving up different results based on a user's past queries.
Third generation? AltaVista defines the first generation of web search as service that relied upon analyzing the location and frequency of words on the page to determine ranking. The second generation is said to be the addition of off-the-page ranking criteria such as link analysis and clickthrough measurements. AltaVista hasn't yet rolled out portions of its third generation service, but expect more details, when they do.
AltaVista Refuels Drive To Profitability
Forbes, Sept. 18, 2000
AltaVista lays off 225
CNNfn, Sept. 15, 2000
AltaVista slashes work force by 25 percent
News.com, Sept. 15, 2000