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Home > Learn More > Tech > Tech Page 2 > The History Of InfoSeek

The History Of InfoSeek

Infoseek was founded in 1994 by a brilliant engineer  named Steve Kirsch. It became an extremely popular search engine and had the nick name of “Big Yellow.” There are many versions of when and how InfoSeek became a true web search engine. Initially, Infoseek Guide was a pay-for-use service. But, luckily, the fees were dropped in August 1994. InfoSeek really hit the big leagues with a strategic deal in 1995 when it clinched a deal for Infoseek to be the default search engine for the Netscape web browser.  Infoseek then became widely used by many people.  In September of 1997, Infoseek had become so well known and used it had  7.3 million visitors per month. 

In 1998 it was bought by The Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney merged the technology with that of the Disney-acquired Starwave, to form the, now known network, . Then In 1999,The engineer of Infoseek Li Yanhong moved to Beijing, China and was co-founder of the search engine Baidu. In early 2001, Disney made the shocking decision to cancel the entire service. With this decision they decided to lay off the entire staff of Infoseek. When this happened fifteen software engineers, Bernt Wahl and Andy Bensky attempted to buy out InfoSeek from Disney.  They were all previous employees of Infoseek and they did succeeded in doing this.

In 2000, Infoseek's Ultraseek Server software technology, was sold to Inktomi. Ultraseek was an enterprise search engine product. Ultraseek Server was, of course, renamed and became "Inktomi Enterprise Search". In March of 2002 , the Ultraseek product suite was sold to Verity Inc, which was noble enough to re-established the Ultraseek brand name and continue the development of the product. 

Infoseek Ultra has a  "special search" feature. This feature can be very handy.  If a person clicks on the Special button in the title banner on the home page they will get a number of search forms.  These forms contain ready-formulated search constructions, which enable them to search to see how many pages from their Website have been indexed in Infoseek Ultra. It also tells how many links there are from other Web pages to their pages and other field searches. With this, a person is able to check his or her own pages for HTML consistency, perform a search for Java applets, or use a number of other "quick reference" tools.

Three years later, in March 2005, Verity was acquired by Autonomy PLC, which originated from the United Kingdom. Today, still under  Autonomy, UltraSeek continues to be marketed and developed as Autonomy's entry level keyword-based site search offering.

Infoseek was contrived from a very complex system of search modifiers.  Boolean was one of the main modifiers.  A person could type in words such as “OR” and “NOT”, they could also type in parentheses, and quotes. This could still find and bring up what they were searching for. One could say that they wanted one word or phrase to appear within so many words from another word or phrase. Also, before InfoSeek was bought out by Disney, they offered a free web hosting package. It was completely free of advertising, and it had no limit on the quantities of file storage space that could be used. Advertising was only added after Disney purchased InfoSeek.

Today does not exist.  Their new domain name is  A person can still type in and it will automatically forward them to  Infoseek is not used at all in North America anymore.  It is commonly used in Japan and Australia though it has been used there for years and has been successful.

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