Language English

Launched 1994
Closed 1999

Developer Kirsch, Steven

Country of Origin

1994 - 1998 InfoSeek
1998 - 1999 Disney

Topic Universal


Technical functionalities

Used SeEn

Robot: Infoseek Sidewinder (Source)

Robot: marvin/infoseek (Source)

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

Mauro Orlandini (1995): »InfoSeek Net Search Cool Sites Index - Organized by categories and limited to only the best sites in each topic. Coupled with InfoSeek's great search engine, this listing provides a one-stop spot to find everything you need on the Web.« Source

»Infoseek, [..] started in 1994, offered a few extra features, such as allowing internet marketing promotion and advertising specialists and other webmasters to submit their own pages to the search index. In December, 1995, Netscape agreed to use them as their default search, which instantly gave them increased popularity. Unfortunately, spammers soon took advantage of Infoseek’s generosity, and made it virtually impossible for searchers to get useful results.« Source

»Infoseek ultimately succumbed to financial pressures, selling itself in stages to Disney during 1998. The two companies jointly launched a new service, in December 1998, but by the middle of 1999, around the peak of portal rage, the separate Infoseek site had been closed and all traffic routed to

As a web portal, didn't last long, either. After experimenting with several strategies, Disney shuttered the site in March, 2001, though it later quietly re-opened as a portal solely for Disney online media properties.

Infoseek had a sterling reputation among both searchers and webmasters, and its demise was a sad event indeed. So, please all join me in toasting what would have been its eighth birthday had it survived the infamous dotcom shakeout.« Source

»When InfoSeek became a true web search engine is a matter of some discussion. Initially Steven Kirsch’s InfoSeek Guide was a pay-for-use service created in January 1994 and the fees were dropped in August 1994. It was rechristened InfoSeek Search in February 1995 and at this point there is no question it was a true web search engine.

InfoSeek was neither first, nor overly original as a search engine. It did have a user-friendly interface and did add some unique links that demonstrated the marketing touch of Kirsch, such as UPS parcel tracking and a news feed. But where InfoSeek really hit the big leagues was with a strategic deal in 1995 that saw InfoSeek land as the default search engine for the Netscape web browser. That deal bumped Yahoo! from the default position and put InfoSeek and the screen of virtually all web surfers.« Source

Danny Sullivan (2004): Search Engine Timeline »early 1995 - Infoseek launches.« ---------- »8/4/96 - Infoseek opens Infoseek Ultra to public beta test. Ultra is the first search engine to index web pages immediately after submission.« ---------- »10/9/96 - 1st PC Computing Search Engine Challenge cancelled due to network problems. Excite and Infoseek play laser tag, instead. Excite wins.« ---------- »11/14/96 - Infoseek relaunches search service, merging Infoseek Ultra back into the service and using it for the basis of all searches. Two search modes are created: Ultrasmart and Ultraseek. Ultrasmart provides related material along with search results. Ultraseek provides only results in response to a query.« ---------- »3/3/97 - Infoseek partners with CNN« ---------- »3/10/97 - Infoseek partners with Hoover's Inc.« ---------- »3/12/97 - UPS adds button to home pages of Infoseek, Lycos and Yahoo to allow visitors to directly reach a package tracking form.« ---------- »4/8/97 - Infoseek and NBC announce partnership« ---------- »4/15/97 - Infoseek launches Corporate Information Division« ---------- »May 1997 - Search.Com relaunches, partners with Infoseek to provide listings.« ---------- »5/9/97 - 2nd PC Computing Search Engine Challenge. HotBot won with 13 points. Excite came in a close second with 12 points, followed by AltaVista with 6 points and Infoseek with 4 points.« ---------- »5/15/97 - Infoseek says those submitting pages via its Add URL page must agree to its new "Guidelines for Adding a Web Page."« ---------- »June 1996 - Infoseek selects Deja News to provide newsgroup searching services.« ---------- »6/16/97 - Infoseek launches Industry Watch beta, a service monitoring more than 500 leading news sources in 20 different categories, such as banking and computers.« ---------- »6/24/97 - Infoseek promotes Dr. William I. Chang to chief technology officer and Arthur H. Clark as vice president of Business Development.« ---------- »7/8/97 - Infoseek launches five new country or language-specific services: Infoseek Nederland, Infoseek Danmark, Infoseek Brasil, Infoseek Sverige and Infoseek en Espaqol (a worldwide Spanish service).« ---------- »7/16/97 - Excite, Infoseek, Lycos and Yahoo -- along with CNET, announced they are going to work together to promote self-regulation of the Internet.« ---------- »7/23/97 - Infoseek closes Corporate Information Division. It opened only a few months earlier, in April 1997.« ---------- »8/4/97 - Excite announced the hiring of James Desrosier as executive vice president, marketing. Previously, Desrosier was vice president, chief marketing officer at Infoseek.« ---------- »8/12/97 - Infoseek names Les Wright as new Chief Financial Officer.« ---------- »8/21/97 - Infoseek unveils redesign.« ---------- »10/20/97 - Infoseek unveils channel format.« ---------- »4/6/98 - Infoseek unveils new result look, moving suggested topics and some partner links atop the raw search listings.« ---------- »5/4/98 - AT&T announces a partnership with Lycos to launch branded Internet access service. Similar agreements are announced on May 6 with Excite and May 8 with Infoseek« ---------- »6/11/98 - Infoseek offers free web pages.« ---------- »6/18/98 - Disney acquires a large stake in Infoseek.« ---------- »9/22/98 - Infoseek releases metasearch software.« ---------- »9/23/98 - Infoseek unveils new look to web site and search results.« ---------- »12/13/98 - The new Go portal from Disney and Infoseek is made available as a beta preview.« ---------- »Jan. 1999 - The new Go site formally opens and the Infoseek site is given a new address in conjunction with the change.« ---------- »May 1999 - Infoseek introduced search term highlighting, a related searches prompter, and increases its index size to about 70 million web pages.« ---------- »Jun. 1999 - Infoseek announces it will add RealNames to its search results.« ---------- »Jul. 1999 - Infoseek announced to be completely acquired by Disney and merged into a new company called« ---------- »Aug. 1999 - Go (Infoseek) integrates RealNames into the top of its search results.« Source

Sullivan, Danny (Mar 3, 2003): »Rest In Peace: ... Infoseek (1995-2001): Launched in early 1995, Infoseek originally hoped to charge for searching. When that failed, the popular search engine shifted to depending like others on banner ads. Disney took a large stake in the company in 1998 and went down the "portal" path that other leading search engines had followed. The site was also renamed "Go." Its failure to make money caused Disney to stop Go's own internal search capabilities abruptly in early 2001. Today, Go remains operating, powered by Google.« Source


Critical points

Features & Functionality

»Hohe Geschwindigkeit, Phrasensuche, automat. Erkennen von Namen; Möglichkeit, sinnvolle englische Sätze einzugeben« Source


References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others): n.a.

Other Sources

Sherman, Chris (2002): Happy Birthday, Infoseek! Online available at Search Engine Watch. URL:
Leonard, Pat (2002): A History of Search Engines. Online available at Top Of The List. URL:
History of Search Engines. Online available at Salient Marketing. URL:
Danny Sullivan (2004): Search Engine Timeline URL:
David Lidsky: Home on the Web - Infoseek. In: PC Mag (1 Sep 1998), pp. 120-124. URL:
Sullivan, Danny (Mar 3, 2003): Where Are They Now? Search Engines We've Known & Loved URL:
Mauro Orlandini (1993-96): The What's New TeSRE Archive URL:
WAYNE E. HARDING (1997): How To Find It On The Net URL:

Created: 2013-01-15