AltaVista (http:\\www.altavista.digital.com) is the premier Internet search engine. It is very powerful and fast, mainly used for pinpoint searching of narrow topics and people in the news. It is popular, because it successfully narrows topics. AltaVista is one of the most inclusive indices. This does not mean it is the best search engine for every use. However, AltaVista consistently returns useful information, and it has the largest "noise to signal" ratio.
AltaVista allows searching of both the web and many Usenet Newsgroups. It has lists of results in a standard, compact, and detailed format. It also provides both simple and advanced searches. Advanced searches include all the features of simple ones, grouping of terms by parentheses, and results ranking by keyword. In simple searches it is best to enter search terms or phrases which explain the subject of your interest. You should use lower case letters and double quote phrases while searching on AltaVista. Also consider using binary operators such as AND, OR, NEAR, and NOT.