AltaVistas namesake service, with its up-to-date and accurate results, was for years my main resource for searching the Web. But as its capabilities waned and Googles waxed, I stopped visiting except for the occasional language translation from AltaVistas Babel Fish.
The most important feature of the new service, which became available earlier this month, is that 50 percent of result content is refreshed every day. It will be a while before we see if the result of this renewed commitment to freshness will succeed, but, in my tests, search results with AltaVista were at least as good as those using Google.
AltaVista has added an improved query builder called More Precision, which offers standard options such as Exact Phrase. Nice, but not exactly groundbreaking.
Other new features include Prisma, which is essentially related terms and searches; Shortcut links, which are links to related content; and a news area.
To try out the new AltaVista, go to www.altavista.com.