Alltheweb / FAST

find it all

AlltheWeb was an Internet search engine, which was online from 1999 to 2011 and originated in Norway. It was initially intended as a showcase website for FAST's enterprise search engine, which made its database available to other search engines. FAST itself emerged from FTP Search, which Tor Egge developed in his doctoral thesis at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. This led to the founding of Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) on 16 July 1997.

Initially, FAST had a partnership with Lycos. From January 2000, Lycos used the results of AlltheWeb (FAST) in the Lycos PRO search. FAST's FTP Search, MP3 Search and Multimedia Search were offered until 2001 via Lycos and not via AlltheWeb. FAST's goal was to have the largest index on the web. The AlltheWeb (FAST) database had grown from 80 million URIs to 200 million. By June 2002 it was over 2 billion pages and by 2004 it was about 3.3 billion URIs.

In February 2003, AlltheWeb was acquired by Overture, which in turn was acquired by Yahoo in March 2004. After the acquisition of Yahoo!, AlltheWebdie used the Yahoo! database. Functions such as FTP search and direct image search were removed. On April 4, 2011, AlltheWeb was discontinued and redirected to Yahoo! Search.

Language Multilingual

Launched 1999
Closed April 4, 2011

Developer Egge, Tor

Country of Origin Norway

1999 - 2003 Fast Search & Transfer (FAST)
2003 - 2004 Overture
2004 - 2011 Yahoo Inc

Topic Universal

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Robot/Crawler based, algorithmic search
Search Portal
Blended results SeEn

Used SeEn Alltheweb (FAST)

Robot: FAST Web Crawler (Source)

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

»AlltheWeb was an Internet search engine that made its debut in mid-1999 and was closed in 2011. It grew out of FTP Search, Tor Egge's doctorate thesis at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, which he started in 1994, which in turn resulted in the formation of Fast Search & Transfer (FAST), established on July 16, 1997. It was used primarily as a showpiece site for FAST's enterprise search engine. According to FAST, AllTheWeb once rivaled Google in size and technology. AlltheWeb never became as popular as Google, though, and its userbase declined after it was bought out by Overture in 2003.

When AlltheWeb started in 1999, FAST aimed to provide their database to other search engines, copying the successful case of Inktomi. In January 2000, Lycos used their results in the Lycos PRO search. By that time, the AlltheWeb database had grown from 80 million URIs to 200 million. Their aim was to index all the publicly accessible web. Their crawler indexed over 2 billion pages by June 2002 and started a fresh round of the search engine size war. Before their purchase by Yahoo!, the database contained about 3.3 billion URIs. AlltheWeb claimed a few advantages over Google, such as a fresher database, more advanced search features, search clustering and a completely customizable look. Its image search would also take the viewer directly to the image rather than to the page where it was displayed.

In February 2003 FAST's web search division was bought by Overture. In March 2004, Overture was taken over by Yahoo!. Shortly after Yahoo!'s acquisition, the AlltheWeb site started using Yahoo!'s database and some of the advanced functions were removed, such as FTP search and direct image search. In March 2011, Yahoo! stated on the AlltheWeb website that they intend to close the engine. Starting on April 4, 2011, the site redirected to Yahoo! Search.« Source

Danny Sullivan (2004): Search Engine Timeline - »May 1999 - A new search engine from FAST and Dell is launched with the aim to have the largest index of the web.« Source

»NEW YORK (CNNfn) [August 2, 1999] - Dell Computer Corp. plans to take a 5-percent stake in Norwegian Web search engine firm Fast Search & Transfer ASA, the Internet company said Monday. Dell 's (DELL) investment, worth approximately $33 million, is part of a preliminary agreement for the cross promotion, sale and distribution of each companies' products. The agreement comes on the heels of Dell's announcement that it will offer its Internet service for free to customers who purchase a PC priced at no less than $959. Within 45 days, the companies expect to reach a final deal under which Dell would implement a co-branded FAST Search by Dell search engine on its Internet service. On Monday, FAST launched its FAST Search site (, which the company said can scan 200 million Web pages.« Source

Sullivan, Danny (Mar 3, 2003): »The New Breed: ... AllTheWeb (1999-): It's a strong rival to Google in terms of popularity, but AllTheWeb is nowhere near as popular with users. That was OK with parent company FAST. AllTheWeb was meant only to demonstrate the company's ability to power the results of other search engines by crawling the web. AllTheWeb launched in May 1999 and counts Lycos as its major partner. Overture announced last month that it intends to acquire the search engine.« Source

Danny Sullivan, (2001): »One of the most notable things about the new AllTheWeb is the what it calls "universal search," where the search engine automatically brings back information from different collections that it maintains. For instance in addition to a web page catalog, AllTheWeb also has database of pictures, video clips, MP3 and FTP files from across the web. When you do a search, results from several of these different sources may be presented, in response.

For example, take a search for "britney spears." By default, you are shown matching pages from across the web, leading off with Britney's own official web site. However, on the right hand side of the screen is a picture of Britney and links to bring up more pictures or video clips that seem to be about her.

Generally, the suggestion of pictures or video clips in what AllTheWeb calls its "side bar results" is most likely what you'll see. However, FTP or MP3 suggestions might also appear. Of course, you can also specify exactly which database you'd like to search against by using the links that appear under the search box, on the AllTheWeb home page... « Source


»AlltheWeb took its name from the original mission of its creator, FAST Search and Transfer of Norway -- to provide the most comprehensive index of the world wide web.« Source

Critical points

Features & Functionality

»AlltheWeb offers the standard search tools: images, news, directory, people, etc. In addition, users have the capability to search for both audio and video files, as well as the opportunity to search in 36 different languages if they so desire. Their advanced search filters are easy to use and return pretty good results.« Source


»One other thing: AllTheWeb is Opera compliant; a nice characteristic for webmasters trying to overcome accessibility issues.« Source

References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others):

Other Sources

Boswell, Wendy: AlltheWeb. Online available at URL:
Sherman, Chris (2001): FAST Search Engine Shifts into High Gear. Online available at Search Engine Watch. URL:
AllTheWeb Is Now Yahoo!, Which Is Now Bing. Online available at SEO Logic. URL:
Fast Search & Transfer. Online available at Wikipedia. URL:
Tóth, Erzsébet: Exploring the Capabilities of English and Hungarian Search Engines for Various Queries. In: Libri. Volume: 56, Issue: 1, Pages: 38-47. URL: DOI: 10.1108/00220410610714930
Bar-Ilan, J et al.: Methods for evaluating dynamic changes in search engine rankings: a case study. In: JOURNAL OF DOCUMENTATION. Volume: 62, Issue: 6, Pages: 708-729. URL: DOI: 10.1108/00220410610714930
Jansen, B. J., & Spink, A. (2005). An analysis of Web searching by European users. Information Processing and Management, 41(2), 361–381. URL:
Danny Sullivan (2004): Search Engine Timeline URL:
Sullivan, Danny (Mar 3, 2003): Where Are They Now? Search Engines We've Known & Loved URL:
Metamend: Fast Search Engine Optimization Tips URL:
Danny Sullivan (2003): How AllTheWeb (FAST) Works URL:
About FAST (1999): URL:
World's Biggest Internet Search Engine Goes Online URL:
Gina Trapani (2006): AllTheWeb Livesearch suggestions URL:
AlltheWeb Livesearch URL:
FAST Web Search URL:
Danny Sullivan (2001): New Goes Live URL:

Created: 2013-01-22