AltaVista Changes Its Colors

Fresh off its acquisition by CMGI Inc., AltaVista has a slew of plans to propel the search engine into Internet fame and glory, including switching from search engine to personalized portal and free ISP.

AltaVista primary plan of attack against its online rivals is to become a portal and ride the free ISP wave into subscribers’ homes, following the NetZero protocol of free Net access in exchange for personal profiling and continuous ad viewing, according to a report in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal.

AltaVista will test the offering this month as it simultaneously rolls out its microportal software, which provides a personalized “always-on” window to the Internet, said the report.

AltaVista Co. Thursday also joined the personalized portal crowd with its launch of My AltaVista and AltaVista Finance.

AltaVista plans to spend $10 million in advertising and promotional events over 10 weeks to introduce the new offerings.

The My AltaVista service delivers personalized information and localized content. At registration, users input a name, a password, and an address and automatically receive localized news, business directories, mapping services, entertainment listings, and shopping guides.

AltaVista Finance offers stock quotes, portfolio tracking, stock and market information, an IPO watch section, news and analysis from various branded sources. AltaVista Finance expects to link resources will more than 12 partners in the next few weeks.

Financial portfolio information entered into the new AltaVista Finance channel is automatically transferred to My AltaVista and can be viewed on the stock tracker.

The AltaVista search engine is available directly from the My AltaVista homepage.

According to a NEC Research Institute study released last week, AltaVista indexed more than twice as many pages as Yahoo!, almost three times more than Excite, and more than six times as many as Lycos.

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