Dogpile is one of the older meta search engines developed by Aaron Flin. In 1999 Go2Net took over Dogpile and in August 2000 InfoSpace (now Blucora) merged with Go2Net. Dogpile has been working since 1996 and is well known, perhaps because of Arfie the mascot who has been on the side from the beginning. In the beginning Dogpile worked as a multi search engine, which provided the results of three search engines separately, without mixing them. Besides Yahoo and Altavista, they searched in sources like Usenet and ftp search engines. Today, Dogpile is a typical meta-search tool that combines the results of other search engines and offers them in a single results list.

For a while, the results looked like they came only from Bing. Currently, the results look like a combination of Google and Bing (as of November 2019).

Language English

Launched January 2, 1996
Closed No

Developer Flin, Aaron

Country of Origin US America

1996 - 1999 Unusual Solutions
1999 - 2000 Polarity Technologies LTD
2000 - [...] InfoSpace (In 2012 Infospace was renamed Bluecora, in 2016 the Infospace business was sold to OpenMail, which renamed itself System1 in 2017.)

Topic Universal

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Meta search engine

Used SeEn Google Search Engine
MSN Search
Ask Jeeves / Ask SeEn

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

Wendy Boswell: »Dogpile is a meta search engine, meaning that it gets results from multiple search engines and directories and then presents them combined to the user. Dogpile currently gets its results from Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, Ask , About, MIVA, LookSmart, and more. According to Dogpile, their metasearch technology "can search 50% more of the Web than any single search engine", as evaulated by "Greg Notess, an independent search engine expert, verified our methodology and validated that our metasearch technology can retrieve 50% or more additional results." [...]

Home Page: You'll see Arfie on the front page, and get used to seeing this little pooch along with cutesy dog sayings everywhere ("go fetch"on the toolbar, for example). The home page is relatively clean and uncluttered, with a good choice of colors. The search bar is squarely in the middle of the home page, with textual tab choices right on top of that. Below Arfie, there are links to the Toolbar, Joke of the Day (it's a popup), SearchSpy, a way to view either family-friendly or unfiltered real-time Web searches, Maps, Weather, and an option to add Dogpile Search to your site.

There's also Favorite Fetches, with what looks to be the top six most searched for queries at any one time, although this list didn't seem to be completely accurate (dog flu is a most searched for query?). I found Arfie's Most Wanted to be a better indicator of what was being searched for by the most people.« Source

Chris Sherman, Jan 1, 2003: »Dogpile, the meta search engine with the goofy name, was one of the first net services to fetch a wide variety of documents and file types.

Research attorney Aaron Flin created Dogpile when he got frustrated with the state of web search in 1996. He found that subject-oriented indexes like Yahoo returned too few results, and yet search engines like AltaVista claimed to find thousands of results for the same query.

Flin decided to write a meta search engine that searched multiple sources simultaneously, presenting results from three sources at a time.

In a posting to the alt.internet.i-box Newsgroup on December 28, 1996, Flin wrote: "Please check out, a new meta- search tool I just completed. It searches through 20 web, Usenet and ftp search engines, 3 at a time, and returns the results to you on one page. If you get less than ten hits, it will automatically fetch results from three more search engines.

Dogpile wasn't the first meta search engine. Savvy Search, written by Colorado State University graduate student Daniel Dreilinger, had been around since March of 1995, and Metacrawler, developed at the University of Washington by then graduate student Erik Selberg and Associate Professor Oren Etzioni, was announced on July 12, 1995.

Both Savvy Search and Metacrawler blended results, whereas Dogpile returned a complete set of results from each source without mixing them up. Flin also added other features to Dogpile. His announcement continued:

"It has many features such as the use of AND NEAR and NOT connectors, reformatting the query to match the search engine and follow up links for each search engine if more hits are available."

In August of 1999, Go2Net acquired Dogpile for $55 million in Go2Net stock and cash. The move was especially notable because Go2Net already had absorbed the web's most popular meta search service, Metacrawler, in November 1998. Acquiring Dogpile gave Go2Net a second popular meta search service.

Why buy what Go2Net already had? To lock up the market.

Just one year later, in August 2000, InfoSpace merged with Go2Net. InfoSpace continued to run both Dogpile and Metacrawler as separate services. Then in early 2002, InfoSpace acquired the Excite and Webcrawler portals for just $10 million.

Over the course of this year, InfoSpace merged and unified the underlying technology powering Dogpile, Metacrawler, Excite and Webcrawler. Though each site maintains its own unique brand with distinctly different interfaces, all four are meta search engines powered by the same technology.

Of the four, Dogpile is InfoSpace's "destination meta property," according to the company. It's designed as a mainstream consumer site, using a simple presentation, without the advanced capabilities its creator, Aaron Flin originally built in to it.« Source

Sherman, Chris (Mar 22, 2005): »Popular metasearch site owned by InfoSpace that sends a search to a customizable list of search engines, directories and specialty search sites, then displays results from each search engine individually. Winner of Best Meta Search Engine award from Search Engine Watch for 2003. « Source

Eyal Rabinovitch (1997): »From the home page, you enter your query and specify whether to search the Web, Usenet, FTP sites, or news sources.« Source

2003: »Use Dogpile's collection of leading search engines to get better results from more of the Web. Search Providers - Google, Yahoo, AltaVisa, Ask Jeeves, About, Sprinks, Looksmart, Teoma, FAST, FindWhat,, Kanoodle, Open Directory, SearchHippo« Source

2005: »Use Dogpile's collection of leading search engines to get better results from more of the Web. Search Providers - Google, Yahoo! Search, MSN, Ask Jeeves, About, MIVA, LookSmart and more.« Source

A lot of funny dogpile images you find here: Source


»Dog Pile: A group of people jumping on on person and creating a tower of people while crushing the people on bottom. - If some one falls over everyone nearby jumps on him/her thus creating a dog pile. [...] A disagreement on an Internet message board wherein one person says something wrong or offensive, and a large number of people comment in response to tell the person how wrong and/or horrible they are, and continue to disparage the original commenter beyond any reasonable time limit.

People commenting at the same time, without realizing others are jumping on the person as well, do not make a dogpile. The requirement is to join in with an angry group to yell at an easy target, or to get popularity points for being seen to agree with the group. They see that everyone else is doing something, and they copy it.

The original commenter typically does not respond at all, because they are completely overwhelmed or scared off. Once a dogpile has been established, an apology from the original commenter is less likely to be effective.« Source

Critical points

Features & Functionality

Wendy Boswell: »Searching with Dogpile: [...] I chose the term "landscaping", since that's on my mind these days. The search results page came back with combined results from the various search engines and directories that Dogpile pulls from, but there was another column to the right with the question "Are You Looking For..." that had MUCH better search queries and subsequently better results for a terraced back yard. You'll notice buttons at the top of your search results, including "Best of All Search Engines", "Google", "Yahoo Search", "MSN Search", etc. Click on any of those buttons and your search results will now highlight items that are specifically from that search engine in a column to the right. Unfortunately, this took away my Suggested Searches, and the only way I could get it back was to backtrack to my original search query.

Now, why would you want to single out a particular search engine? Because search engines will return dramatically different results for the same search query, and once you start comparing the results here, you'll see what I mean.« Source


Example results page for "sand": Source

References & further Publications

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

Other Sources

History and Analysis of Online available at SEO Logic. URL:
DogPile URL:
Sherman, Chris (Jan 1, 2003): Happy Birthday, Dogpile! URL:
Dogpile URL:
Sherman, Chris (Sep 1, 2003): Dogpile Sports a Fetching New Look URL:
Price, Gary (Jan 18, 2005): Dogpile Adds New Features URL:
DogPile. In: ELATEwiki URL:
Metamend: Web Site Optimization for the Dogpile Search Engine URL:
About Us (1997) URL:
About Dogpile (2004): URL:
Dogpile Search Engine URL:

Created: 2013-01-22