AltaVista Officially Closes — What Will Pawnee Do!

City of Pawnee - Official SiteWe mourned the closing of AltaVista when it was announced at the end of last month. But today’s the day it actually closed. No more AltaVista. Gone. Perhaps no one will suffer as much as the inhabitants of Pawnee, Indiana.

The fictional town from the TV show Parks & Recreation has mentioned AltaVista in various episodes over the years, perhaps giving the now-defunct search engine the most recognition in the Media Blitz episode from Season 3.

Ben Wyatt’s failure as a teenage mayor is revealed after local radio talkshow hosts Crazy Ira & The Douche bring him on the air, saying they’ve researched his history on AltaVista. Later, when Ben’s answering questions on a TV show, a caller says the same thing.

Ben exclaims, “Why does everyone in this town use AltaVista? Is it 1997?” Here’s a Vine of the clip:

There were other references to AltaVista over the years that I wish I’d written down. Nor did they end with Season 3. In the Sex Education episode from Season 5, Tom Haverford is shocked that Jerry Gergich gets to his email by searching for Yahoo at AltaVista.

As Betabeat recapped:

Tom: “Oh my God, Jerry, when you check your email you go to AltaVista and type, ‘Please go to’ You don’t have your email bookmarked? Do you have any bookmarks?”

Jerry: “What’s bookmarks?”

Tom: “God, Jerry! You don’t deserve the internet!”

Remember your own favorite mention? Please add them in the comments below.

As for AltaVista, if you go to the site today, it’s all gone — replaced by the Yahoo-branded landing page below:


For more about AltaVista’s past glory, please see our previous story, A Eulogy For AltaVista, The Google Of Its Time.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Stats: History | Yahoo: Search


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Rajesh_magar

    Sad to see you go….but anyway it’s real fact that people don’t have time for outdated/limited technology search engine like

  • Gridlock

    *Pours out a 40*

    Guess it’s time to take down my meta-keywords :D

  • Maz Here

    Altavista was the best for searching free sounds… No one compares it… I used them for my multimedia projects… RIP… Miss you…

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