Poor AltaVista. The early search engine exploded onto the scene in 1995 with a Web crawler that was far ahead of its time. AltaVista soon became a top Web destination, and in 1996 it began providing search results for Yahoo. The company changed hands a few times, was reimagined as a Web portal (remember those?), and began to lose ground just as Google(GOOG) rose to prominence.
Yahoo(YHOO) ended up becoming AltaVista's final owner, but it said this week that it will close the service down on July 8. Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan wrote a eulogy for AltaVista, calling it "the bright child always neglected by your parents."