Brief History of Search Engines

It is difficult to imagine the Internet without search engines. Because our experience with web browsing is often facilitated through search engines, we would inevitably feel lost online without them. The evolution of the search engine has allowed every Internet user to locate the information he’s searching for at the click of a mouse. Whether you are looking for data recovery companies or something to do on a weekend, search engines are here to help you find the information.

The first search services were quite rudimentary. It took several years for it to become more sophisticated. The history of search engines started with a university project that went on to become a commercial enterprise. In its wake, it revolutionized commerce, information search, and the worldwide economy. It was certainly the story of Archie (short for archives), created by Alan Emtage. Archie archived what none could archive at the time, anonymous FTP sites.

The first search engine, as we know it today, was developed by MIT student Matthew Grey. It was known as the World Wide Web Wanderer. The robot originally tracked the web by counting the web servers, though it was able to capture URLs soon after. This list became known as Wandex, the first database of websites.

Before Direct Hit, which was launched in 1998, two types of search engines existed including the author controlled services (Alta Vista) and editor-controlled directories (LookSmart), wherein placement is decided manually. Direct Hit presented an alternative. It used relevancy, which depended on the hit ratio, to calculate search engine placement. The most prominent search engine right now is Google. This search engine uses Pagerank which monitors the number of links a certain page has.

Further Reading on Search Engine History

Web References: A Brief History of Search Engines
FinkerNet Marketing: Short History of Search Engines
Marketing Find: Search Engines
Search Engine History
Brief History of Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Companies Search Engine
Web Search Workshop: Google
Excite Search Engine
Salient Marketing: Direct Hit Search Engine
Funding Universe: Ask Jeeves

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