Hoping to attract more mass appeal for an online search engine with a cult following, AlltheWeb.com declared Monday that it indexes more Internet information than longtime pacesetter Google.
AlltheWeb, owned by Norway's Fast Search & Transfer, says its database spans 2.1 billion Web pages, just ahead of the 2.07 billion scanned by Google at the end of last week. AlltheWeb has been quietly building upon its previous foundation of 800 million pages over the past two months.
The rapid expansion represents the latest salvo aimed at Mountain View-based Google, whose growing popularity since its inception in 1998 has inspired a mixture of awe, jealousy and one-upmanship among competitors.
The challenges haven't toppled privately held Google so far. Besides operating one of the Web's most trafficked destinations, Google also provides search results for other prominent sites, including Yahoo! and AOL.