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Alta Vista

The name of a software firm associated with Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Alta Vista offers software products you can use to locate and manage information on the Internet or a private computer network that uses Internet tools (an intranet). The best known product from this company is the Alta Vista Search system that anyone can use to find information on the World Wide Web. People often use the term Alta Vista to refer to this free search service.

The Alta Vista search service contains one of the largest Web indices. The index is maintained and generated by programs, called robots or spiders, that follow links on Web pages, download the pages, and then index them according to the words and phrases that the pages contain.

Also see How Web Search Engines Work in the Did You Know . . . ? section of Webopedia.

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