The Mother of All Search Engines

Mamma is called the first meta search engine. The search engine was created as a master thesis by Herman Tumurcuoglu at Canadian Carleton University, Ottawa. Mamma started in 1996 and works as a meta search engine until 2015. Since 2005, she has offered image, video and news searches. In addition, a job and health search was offered since the mid-2000s, but both were closed after almost three years. From 2016 the search engine worked as a coupon code & discount search engine and today it is a site with its own diverse content without a search.

Language English

Launched 1996
Closed July 2015

Developer Tumurcuoglu, Herman

Country of Origin Canada

1995 - 2001 Tumurcuoglu, Herman
1999 - 2004 Intasys Corporation
2004 - 2007
2007 - 2009 Copernic Inc.
2009 - [...] Empresario.Inc.

Topic Universal

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Meta search engine

Used SeEn Unknown

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

» was launched in 1996 by Herman Tumurcuoglu in Montreal, Canada. It was one of the web's first tier 2 metasearch engines.« Source

»July 1996: goes live as one of the Web's first metasearch engines and rightfully dubs itself "The Mother Of All Search Engines". Mamma was developed as a Master's thesis at Ottawa's Carleton University by Herman Tumurcuoglu. 1996-1998: Mamma grows slowly through word of mouth. A handful of people work with Tumurcuoglu to turn the search engine into a source of income. Banners are sold to advertisers and Mamma begins to license its technology to other websites; Tumurcuoglu realizes early that revenues do not have to be limited to's own immediate traffic. July 1999: A banner sales force, business development team, and a technology division are created at Mamma. In the height of the dot-com boom, Mamma sees its niche. November 1999: Intasys Corporation (NASDAQ: INTA) invests US$25,000,000 and takes 69% ownership of Mamma. December 1999: An aggressive advertising campaign is launched with a billboard in New York's famed Times Square. Millions of New Yorkers gather to celebrate and bring on the new Millennium under Mamma's presence. January 2000: Mamma sees the value in selling search result rankings and develops the Premium Search Result Placement Program. The advertisers are shuffled in with the metasearch results. Unlike bid-engines, Mamma does not reveal the advertiser's cost-per-click (CPC). March 2000: Mamma's advertising campaign continues with a TV commercial; it airs on CNNfn, MSNBC, and Bloomberg. Summer 2000: Mamma redesigns its site and brings the Mamma character to life. August 2000: Mamma creates, "Mamma Recommends". CPC advertisers are given exclusive placement in the top two positions and are featured under a "Mamma Recommends" header. January 2001: Mamma begins in-house development of a proprietary banner delivery system. March 2001: Banner delivery system, ADS (Ad Delivery System), launched. The development team begins research on Mamma's automated registration system. April 2001: Founder, Tumurcuoglu, resigns - Mamma begins new chapter. July 2001: Intasys Corp. buys out minority shareholders and take 100% ownership of Mamma. August 2001: The first phase of ASI (Automated Sales Initiative) is launched allowing Mamma to reach thousands of potential advertisers in a few months. September 2001: Mamma and Intasys announce Guy Fauré as new President and CEO of Mamma. October 2001: "Mamma Recommends" is renamed "Mamma Classifieds" (ensuring that users understand they are paid listings) and is increased to three positions at the top of the results page. December 2001: branches out its distribution revenue streams and begins to display their advertisers' banners on other web properties. April 2002: redesigns the homepage and gives the Mamma character a third dimension. June 2002: Beta version of's customized registration system, ADS, is launched; advertisers can now sign-up online. December 2002: buys focusIN Specialty Web Network to expand distribution of its search and banner networks. February 2003: institutes new measures to detect and protect its advertisers against fraudulent activity. June 2003: Banners are removed from, in an effort to make the site cleaner, and more user-friendly. July 2003: In the ongoing effort to clean up the site, homepage text advertisements, Mamma Favorites, are permanently removed. August 2003:'s ranking algorithm, which eliminates the subjective ordering of metasearch results, celebrates its first year anniversary. August 2003: The beta version of ADS,'s online client account management system, is retired and a new version is released. September 2003: Parent company, Intasys Corp. sells its other holdings, and focuses exclusively on October 2003:'s Power Search page is relaunched, and enables users to perform advanced searches, as well as to save preferences. November 2003: offers geo-targeting to Mamma Classifieds clients. January 2004:'s parent company, Intasys Corporation, officially merges with and becomes Inc. Mamma is now recognizable on NASDAQ with the ticker symbol MAMA. February 2004: consolidates its offerings under the Mamma Media Solutions brand identity. The metasearch engine continues to operate as - The Mother of All Search Engines, now a Mamma Media Solutions product.« Source

»On December 22, 2005, completed its acquisition of "Copernic Technologies Inc.", a search technology company founded in July 1996 in Quebec City and maker of the desktop search utility Copernic Desktop Search. In the preceding fiscal year Copernic had a revenue of about $5.9 million and an EBITDA of about $1.8 million; paid $15.9 million and issued 2,380,000 common shares. On June 8, 2007, Inc. changed its name to Copernic Inc., received a new stock symbol CNIC, (effective June 14, 2007), and launched its new corporate website. On November 17, 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had charged Mark Cuban with insider trading. It was alleged that he directed his broker to sell his entire 600,000 shares of stock in the company to avoid losses in excess of $750,000 based on insider information. On June 30, 2009, Copernic completed the sale of and its third party Ad Net to Empresario, a privately owned digital media network based in Chicago Illinois. Transaction took place as planned by the two companies and will allow Copernic to reflect the details in their Q2 report. The company proceeded to this sale in order to focus the company on new product offers.« Source

»On November 17, 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had charged Mark Cuban with insider trading. It was alleged that he directed his broker to sell his entire 600,000 shares of stock in the company to avoid losses in excess of $750,000 based on insider information.« Source

2015: »Mark Cuban won a years-long fight with the federal government Wednesday as jurors decided that the billionaire basketball team owner did not commit insider-trading when he sold his stake in an Internet company in 2004. The jury in federal district court in Dallas said that the Securities and Exchange Commission failed to prove the key elements of its case, including the claim that Cuban agreed to keep certain information confidential and not trade on it...« Source

In the past Mamma offered a search for Yellow and White Pages too. Source

a Job Search Source

and a Health Search Source

2015: Today they offer a search for News, Images, Videos and a Local Search. Source

Sherman, Chris (Mar 22, 2005): »Founded in 1996, is one of the oldest meta search engines on the web. Mamma searches against a variety of major crawlers, directories and specialty search sites. The service also provides a paid listings option for advertisers, Mamma Classifieds. Mamma was an honorable mention for Best Meta Search Engine in the 2003 Search Engine Watch awards.« Source

Majhi, Sudip (February 11, 2016): »This is a great website to get web, news, image and video search result. It grabs information from various search engine – as mentioned in the definition. The most interesting thing is you can get a Tab view. That means, this is very easy to switch from web search result to image and vice versa.« Source

»Our Ranking Algorithm: rSort

rSort works like a voting system for search results. The search engines® queries often return duplicate results. Instead of simply eliminating the duplicates as many metasearch engines may do, we use this information to rank our results. Each duplicate search result is considered a 'vote' for that result. Pages with the highest number of votes go at the top of our result set (for the mathematicians in the audience, the method of voting we use is a simplified version of the "Condorcet Method", named after the mathematician Marquis de Condorcet who invented this voting procedure in the 18th century). One of the big advantages of this ranking method is the elimination of search engine spam. ...« Source


Mamma: The Mother of All Search Engines

Critical points

Features & Functionality

an older description: »Mamma retrieves results from approximately a dozen major Internet search engines and directories and has a few nice extra search features that are worth a try. [...]

Searching with Mamma Metasearch is easy. Just type in a word or phrase and go. Here's my example: I typed in antelope . First of all, I saw Mamma Classifieds at the very top of the search results page. From the site: "Results in "Mamma Classifieds" are paid placement listings, meaning that every time you click upon one of them, Mamma receives payment from the site owner/advertiser."

Underneath the Classifeds are Sponsored Links, which are very similar in that someone had to pay Mamma in order for those to show up (they're ads). To the right of the main search results, you'll see "Refine Your Search." These are clustered search suggestions that take your original query, in my case "antelope", and give you more search terms that you might not have thought of. For example, I was given Wyoming Hunting, Antelope Canyon, and African Antelope. Not all of the Search Refinements will be relevant to your search but it's a nice feature nonetheless. In order to filter out spammy "extra" results, a common problem in metasearch engines since they're searching for the same thing in different search engines , Mamma has a unique way that they filter and rank their search results. Basically, each duplicate that Mamma finds is weighted as a "vote" for that term. Mamma explains it better: "Instead of simply eliminating the duplicates as many metasearch engines may do, we use this information to rank our results. Each duplicate search result is considered a 'vote' for that result. Pages with the highest number of votes go at the top of our result set."

In addition, underneath every search result's textual description, you're going to see where that result was retrieved from in square brackets. For example, with one of the search results in my example search, I received the following: Wisenut, Entireweb, Gigablast,, Yahoo, and Open Directory. What this string of search services is telling me is this: the first source listed is where my result actually was retrieved from, and the rest are duplicates.

You also might see the words "Paid Result" in the string of search services; this means that this result is a Paid Result - again, it's an ad. Mamma Metasearch Engine Advanced Search Mamma's Advanced Search offers the power searcher a variety of options. You can select which search services you'd like to be included in your searches (Google is notably excluded), set preferences, etc. A couple things here that I haven't seen in most other Advanced Search offerings were the ability to highlight search terms and limit (or expand) the size of the search result descriptions. Mamma Metasearch Engine Search Extras You can check out the Mamma Explorer Bar , which "saves your searches by letting you select results from a results page into the Explorer Bar", or get the Mamma Toolbar , which gives you instant access to Mamma metasearch (only available for Internet Explorer users).« Source


Example results page for "France": Source

References & further Publications

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

Other Sources URL:
Herman Tumurcuoglu URL:
Boswell, Wendy: Mamma, the Mother of All Metasearch Engines URL:
Mark Cuban did not commit insider trading, jury says URL:
Majhi, Sudip (February 11, 2016): List of best Meta Search Engines on the Internet URL:
Metamend: Mamma Search Engine Optimization URL:

Created: 2013-01-22