Originally launched in 1996, EuroSeek was the first search engine to focus solely on Europe. It's initial offering included search results in five languages (English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian).
Our spider was named Arachnoidea (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As EuroSeek evolved, so did its language offerings. Users were invited to "search the web in your own language," and our language support expanded to include Norwegian and Swedish, among others. We offered search services on the Internet in more than 30 languages and as many as 40 different countries.
We partnered with Netscape on April 27th of 2000, and became a publicly listed company on June 16th of 2000, with our shares trading on the H&Q Tech Market.
Later that year we announced we...
The future was bright and we were destined for glory.
Unfortunately our ambitions exceeded our talents and when the Internet shifted from chasing eyeballs to demanding profits, we were ill-prepared for the bubble popping. At its peak our portal offered free e-mail, local news, online shopping, classifieds, chat, weather, music, banner ads. We also had partnerships with companies like Picsearch to help us improve our other vertical search results.
It turned out sponsoring racing events didn't back out when investors backed away from the web.
In spite of that, we cut costs, had high hopes and were still arranging funding, but the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center caused nervous investors to pull back and left us without funding.
Companies like Amazon.com survived the shift, but many others died. Even Yahoo! has struggled to recover and remains a shadow of its former self. They've closed down many of their large verticals like travel, shut down Geocities, and the directory Yahoo! was named after has also went offline.
By 1998, Yahoo was the beneficiary of a de facto Ponzi scheme. Investors were excited about the Internet. One reason they were excited was Yahoo's revenue growth. So they invested in new Internet startups. The startups then used the money to buy ads on Yahoo to get traffic. Which caused yet more revenue growth for Yahoo, and further convinced investors the Internet was worth investing in. When I realized this one day, sitting in my cubicle, I jumped up like Archimedes in his bathtub, except instead of "Eureka!" I was shouting "Sell!"
Y Combinator founder Paul Graham
We filed for bankruptcy protection in September of 2001. We were then quickly acquired by WorldLight.com.
EntireWeb leveraged our search technology to help power their site and IXquick searches.
On March 26 of 2002 we were acquired by US based online advertising firm WeDirect, Inc. Two days later a deal was signed with Google to power our search results. On April 1st the site was relaunched leveraging partnerships with Google, DMOZ, Intellicast and InterTran.
We partnered with Espotting in 2003, but by then Google was already destined to own search globally. Our vision of niche localized versions of search lost out similarly to how Overture & Espotting were less efficient than the global AdWords ad platform. And over the years Google improved their regional relevancy algorithms by better localizing their results.
In the decade plus since then, Google has added so many vertical search features they've effectively become a full fledged portal in a search engine wrapper.
We were ahead of the curve with our WAP search features, but it was ultimately the iPhone and Android (along with the Facebook social network and news feed) which led to the recent explosion in mobile web usage.
We are evolving yet again, this time into a directory of quality, human-approved websites. Over 98% of our current active listings are manually added by our team of editors.
Companies like Google and Microsoft have invested billions into general web search & it is unlikely we will be able to beat them on speed, scale, brand awareness, or comprehensiveness.
Rather we've decided to start small and put quality first. Since the web is global, we've decided to list high-quality resources from around the world, with quality being priority 1, 2, and 3.
Perhaps part of the reason this site has been reset in the past was scaling too quickly and investors shifting their expectations and demands as market conditions change. For that reason we are not currently seeing outside investment.
While some investors have expressed interest in working with us to grow the site, we would prefer to self-fund our growth.
At one point in the past our site leveraged the DMOZ database, but we decided we would have better control of product quality and better differentiation if we built our directory from scratch.
Our site currently does not carry any advertisements, though we would not be opposed to adding some ad units to the site after the catalog is fleshed out and we have built a strong audience.
If you have a great website it will likely eventually get added to our directory for free, but it may take our editorial team time to find and add it.
If you want to jump the queue, webmasters who pay a nominal fee receive an expediated review. It should be noted...
Considering an expediated review? Please read our submission guidelines and rejection policy.
If your website is a bona fide nonproift charity we can provide a free editorial review. Use the contact form below to ask us about this program. Be sure to share your URL and an external background citation authenticating your organizational standing in the message.
While rebuilding our core directory we are starting with an emphasis on sites in the English language. Depending on our level of success (not wanting to overspend ourselves into bankruptcy!) we will invest into cataloging other languages & have already tested our software's support for languages ranging from Finnish to Russian.
This site has had multiple designs and numerous business models over the years. Ultimately it will succeed or fail not based on the logo, but based on how useful users find the site.
Once we've filled the directory to have fairly strong coverage across all categories we plan on investing into further building out our search features to search across our listings and then to crawl and index sites so users can deep search into the sites listed within our directory.
With support for over a dozen languages, including Finnish and Russian, and a commitment to excellence, we believe EuroSeek will continue to grow into the next decade, and beyond.
It is unlikely we will end up on a future version of the Monopoly board game, but one can hope.
We invite your questions and comments, which you can submit via the form below.