I am getting ready to finally move my stuff into my new place and that means I am going through the garage and opening up boxes that I have not looked in for five years. Well it turns out that the boxes I am looking in are really stuff that I packed up when I moved back in 1996 so most of the stuff is really from 1993-1996. Before I tosed it I found a magazine called Internet World — "The magazine for internet users". www.iword.com was the URL. In the May 1996 issue they rated the top seven search tools. Here is what they were looking at (using the URL as listed in the magazine):
Alta Vista altavista.digital.com
InfoSeek Guide guide.infoseek.com
Open Text www.opentext.com
The winners were InfoSeek Guide for relevant results and Alta Vista for comprehensive results. I remember using Alta Vista a bunch back in those days. I actually still use their babel fish world translation page to quickly convert non English webpages to English.
The Alta Vista link does not directly work and the Yahoo site you go to tells you to try it without the "digital" part. InfoSeek goes to www.go.com which is part of Disney’s attempt to be on the web. OpenText seems to have moved on to other things other than search. WWWorm no longer exists.
I am not sure why they did not review Yahoo which was clearly around at that time. They did have a side bar article on "Mega tools" and they talk about IBM’s InfoMarket (www.infomkt.ibm.com) which did a search across Open Text, Yahoo, Hoover’s Business Resources, Newsbytes, Usenet News, the CIA World Factbook, and more. They also listed NightN (www.nlightn.com) as a site that would also collect info from other sites. Neither of these exist anymore either.