Alta Vista Creates Invisible Web Index
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Search Engine AltaVista has created a series of automatically-generated "shortcuts" that point searchers to "relevant results from sources that are not normally available to search engines," according to the site. To distinguish the shortcuts from other AltaVista results, they are labeled with a small icon (an arrow situated horizontally in a box). Clicking on the icon provides a pop-up window describing each shortcut. The shortcut results also include a gray label identifying the source of the information.

The shortcut results are integrated into the search engine's regular search engine results. They appear near the top of the results page (between the paid placement results and the general search engine results).

For example, searching for a company ticker symbol returns shortcut links to:

  • News about the company
  • Charts of stock prices
  • Analysts estimates
  • SEC filings
  • Company profile
  • Message Board messages

For those looking for a replacement for the old Company Sleuth model, these shortcut results are a step in the right direction. They aggregate different types of information regarding the search target company into a single results screen, saving the time of searching each of the (non-AltaVista) resources separately.

Currently, Shortcuts are available in only the following categories:

  • Auto
  • Celebrity Images
  • Directions
  • Downloads
  • Greeting Cards
  • Local Information
  • Maps
  • News
  • Recipes
  • Shopping
  • Stock Quotes
  • Weather
  • White Pages
  • Yellow Pages

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