Now owned by CMGI after a $2.3 billion buy from Compaq, Altavista has halted inclusion of submitted URLs to its search results while it apparently creates a new index. This has been verified by director of marketing for AltaVista Search, Tracy Roberts, who says that when the new index is stable, submitted URLs will be updated.

News.com reports, and I have verified, that only one Web page featuring the word "mp3" has been added since September 11, 1999 - a result which would hardly be expected if they were not delaying updates. Searches for other common words reveal similarly low counts for additions since this date.

To find out more on this issue, read the News.com article here.

It will be interesting to see what new technology they introduce with the future index - maybe it's something backend to speed processing, or maybe it's another experiment in alternative money-making methods from search results at the frontend...