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Direct Hit: A brief history of the Direct Hit search engine

Direct Hit search engine - a brief history

In the late 1990's, Direct Hit was a search engine that attracted attention for its novel use of ranking sites and, although not a particularly popular search tool in its own right, it built an impressive network of search partners.

Direct Hit was launched in 1998 and stood apart from other search engines of the time due to its automated search technology that ranked sites by tracking the products, services and information that users were searching for, the amount of time they spent at various websites that were visited from the search results, and how frequently they returned to the results or the sites in question.

The idea that user patterns would help to determine the popularity of sites was an intriguing one and Direct Hit began to gain some impressive coverage of the web's search market at the time, supplying results to HotBot and also contributing listings to MSN, Lycos and Looksmart. However, the growth of this tool also coincided with the arrival of Google and, ultimately, the accuracy of the rankings couldn't compare, along with most other search tools!

In 2000, the privately owned company behind Direct Hit was bought by Ask, who were attracted by the technology that was being developed. The remnants of Direct Hit may still be found somewhere in Ask' results, but the site itself now takes users to Teoma, the main search engine used by Ask that ranks sites closer to the Google model. The only traces of Direct Hit can now be found through the WayBack Archive.

If you'd like to know more about Direct Hit, or to find out how your website can achieve a top ranking on the main search engines, contact us for more information or to request a FREE website assessment.