Exalead comes from France and was developed by Francois Bourdoncle, who was previously invaded in AltaVista. Exalead started in 2004 with an international version and one specifically for France. An own crawler is the basis of the Exalead database. The results are delivered with a screenshot of the result pages. Functionalities like "Did you mean" and a categorization (language, file type, related terms) of the results complete the output page.

Language Multilingual

Launched October 2004
Closed No

Developer Bourdoncle, Francois

Country of Origin France

2004 - 2010 Exalead
2010 - [...] Dassault Systèmes

Topic Universal

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Crawler-based, algorithmic SeEn
Blended results SeEn
Real Time Search
Website Screenshots

Used SeEn Exalead

Robot: ExaBot (Source)

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

2004: »Exalead is pleased to announce the availability of a new Internet search engine that makes the content of a billion Web pages immediately accessible. This new service is currently been made available to a restricted community of beta-testers.

Two search services are available as of October 2004: (French audience) (International audience) Each service is tailored to its target audience, and search results and navigation may look very different from one service to the other. Please give a try to both and compare.

By making a billion Web pages searchable, Exalead is now entering the elite club of international Web search engines. We intend this new service to be a technology demonstrator for our innovations and to confirm our ambitions to be the number one information access leader, be it for the internet, e-mail, intranets, or personal computers.

Today, by making more pages, documents, and information searchable, for more languages and countries, Exalead has opened a new window to the world. A whole new search experience Designed to make the life of Internet users easier, our new service features a whole new and much richer user experience for information access, based on speed, interactive navigation, and ease of use.

For we believe that a simple list of search results is woefully inadequate to search through billions of Web pages, we have refined the search and navigation system that has made us popular in the past four years with corporations and the general public alike, and made navigation even more powerful, e.g., by allowing geographic navigation.« Source

Greg R. Notess (2006): »Exalead is a newer search engine arriving in October 2004. Hailing from France, it offers a unique and different approach to presenting results. A Sept. 2006 beta version at became the new interface on Oct. 9, 2006. Databases: A database of crawled Web pages and an image database. Ad database comes from Yahoo! Search Marketing. Within the Web database it includes and links to directory results from the Open Directory, and provides easy links on the right to separate out audio, video, and RSS feeds.« Source

2009: »Exalead, the search engine founded by Francois Bourdoncle (earlier involved with AltaVista) has a number of features that makes it a bit of everything. It has vertical search option (including blog, video, image search), products tailored for enterprises and the search engine sports nifty features such as – Truncation, Thumbnails of pages and more.« Source


»The trademark Exalead is an association of the two terms "exa" and "lead"; these two notions are at the core of the exalead one:search platform. "Exa" is the prefix for 10 to the power of 18 which is a definite sign of the exalead one:search's ability to easily handle high volumes of data in every type of environment. "Lead" hints at the user-centric approach that Exalead adopts to guide the user to the information he needs as simple and as fast as possible. Exalead is pronounced: [eg'zæli:d].« Source

Critical points

Features & Functionality

»Spelling suggestions, approximate and phonetic searches, automatic word stemming, etc.

Visual tools for the search results such as thumbnails and "safe page preview".

Ability to sort search results by relevance, source, or even by date.

Guides to help you quickly refine your search based on keywords, categories, language, document format, and even by country.

Bookmarks to save the pages you find interesting as you navigate through the search results. A smart translation system.

A breakthrough real-time Web indexing technology.« Source


Exalead Laboratories Source

References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others):

Other Sources

Exalead Blog (archived) URL:
Exalead Blog (today) URL:
Greg R. Notess (2006): Review of Exalead Search URL:
Stephen E. Arnold (2008): Exalead : An Interview with François Bourdoncle URL:
2007: The Top 100 Alternative Search Engines, October URL:
Phil Bradley (2009): Finding the Exalead search engine URL:
Phil Bradley (2009): Exalead Laboratories URL:

Created: 2013-01-15