HotBot: A brief history of the HotBot search engine
HotBot was launched in May 1996. It was owned and operated by Wired Magazine and became a popular tool with search results served by the Inktomi database and directory results provided originally by LookSmart and then The Open Directory since mid-1999. Hotbot also used search data from Direct Hit for a period, which was a tool that used click-through data to manipulate results.
The Lycos company acquired HotBot in 1998 and for a number of years this search tool has languished with limited development and falling market share. At the end of 2002 HotBot was relaunched as a multiple option search tool, giving users the option to search either the FAST, Google, Inktomi or Teoma databases.
HotBot continues to attract a reasonable amount of search traffic and now just provides search results from either Google or Ask Jeeves (Teoma).