HotBot provides easy access to the webs three major crawler based search engines: Yahoo, Google and Teoma. Unlike a meta search engine, it cannot blend the results from all of these crawlers together. Nevertheless, its a fast, easy way to get different web search opinions in one place. HotBots choose a search engine interface was introduced in December 2002. However, HotBot has a long history as a search brand before this date.HotBot debuted in May 1996, it gained a strong following among serious searchers for the quality and comprehensiveness of its crawler based results, which were provided by Inktomi, at the time. It also caught the attention of experienced web users and techies, especially for the unusual colors and interface it continues to sport today.
HotBot gained more notoriety when it switched over to using Direct Hits clickthrough results for its main listings in 1999. Direct Hit was then one of the hot search engines that had recently appeared. Unfortunately, the quality of Direct Hits results couldnt match those of another hot player that had debuted at the same time, Google. HotBots popularity began to drop.Even worse, HotBot also suffered by being owned by Lycos (now Terra Lycos). Lycos had acquired HotBot when it purchased Wired Digital in October 1998. Lycos failed to make search a priority on its flagship Lycos site as well as HotBot through much of 1999 and 2000, as it focused instead on adding portal features. The company refocused on search in late 2001, making significant improvements to the Lycos site and, as noted, reworked the HotBot site at the end of 2002.