How search engines came to be

by WF- Enzo Administrator
5 replies
  • SEO
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Search engines are arguably the lifeblood of the internet, and I personally use them 70% of the time. They are usually your internet browser's default home page. So let's take a look at how search engines started.


Archie is the first search engine created by students Alan Emtage, Bill Heelan, and J. Peter Deutsch in 1990. Archie downloads the listings of files located on public FTP sites, which then are created on a searchable database. It had limited space however, and only the listings themselves were made available.


Two new Gopher-based search engines were created, Veronica and Jughead, named after the Archie comic book. Veronica is a backronym for Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Net-wide Index to Computer Archives" searched for file names stored on Gopher index systems. Jughead, meanwhile, stood for Jonzy's Universal Gopher Hierarchy Excavation And Display and was used to obtain information from specific Gopher servers.


Tim Berners-Lee (known for creating HTML and WWW) created the World Wide Web Virtual Library or simply VLib. It was the first content index on the Internet, and was hosted on CERN web servers back when the Internet was in its infancy.


Jonathon Fletcher created JumpStation with its linear search showing information about a page title and header. It is also the first search engine to use a web crawler and indexer.


Yahoo! Directory, created by David Filo and Jerry Yang, was launched and began as a collection of web pages with man-made descriptions in each URL. Informational sites can be added for free, while commercial ones can be added for $300 annually.

Lycos was also released during this time, with a catalogue of 54,000 document and later expanding to 394,000, and 1.5 million in 1995.


AltaVista was released and pioneered a couple of features found on modern search engines: unlimited bandwidth, natural language search queries, search tips, and allows users to add or delete domains within 24 hours.


Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin began working on BackRub, a search engine using backlinks for search.

Ask Jeeves was released as a natural language search engine which ranked links according to popularity. It is now known as


MSN Search was launched by Microsoft, originally using search results from Inktomi and later on displayed listings blended with Looksmart. It would later rename to Bing in 2009.

Google was officially launched.


Yahoo! acquires Inktomi and Overture Services to power Yahoo! Search.


Microsoft launched an overhauled MSN search engine.


The big three search engine providers (Yahoo!, Google, and Microsoft) started using the "nofollow" attribute to combat link spam.


Google creates Universal Search, adding features for News, Video, Images, Local, etc.


Google Suggest is launched, providing a dropdown of suggested topics related to user query.


MSN Live Search becomes Bing, and was heavily promoted by Microsoft alongside the launch of Windows 7.


Google Instant is launched, providing users with real-time search results as they type queries.

2011, a joint initiative by Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, is launched.

Google Panda is released, affecting improving query results and reduces the effectiveness of content farms and scraper sites.


Google launches the Penguin algorithm update which penalizes sites buying links or those obtained through link networks to boost search rankings.

Microsoft launched Sidebar which gives users results through social networks.


Yahoo! becomes Mozilla Firefox's default search engine in the US.

Google launches HTTPS Everywhere campaign, prioritising website security as ranking factor in search queries.


Google Mobilegeddon is launched which enabled websites to be more mobile-friendly in mobile search results. Microsoft later releases their own mobile-friendly update.
#engines #history #search
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  • Profile picture of the author monica geller
    Excellent! I never knew about the search engines before Google came to the world. Thanks for sharing. This really helps a lot.
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  • Profile picture of the author sendizo
    Stuff changing really fast, I d remember the 2010 google .
    I wonder how Search Engine will be in 5 years from now ...

    Thanks for sharing!
    Free Link & Click Tracking Software - Increase Profit by 33%.
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  • Profile picture of the author medicineman
    Archie! That was before me, but I have read up "Veronica" as well.

    They named these programs after the Archie Comics for some reason. Nice graphic you made there. I hope someone is archiving this for future generations.
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  • Profile picture of the author ahad0806
    You shared some really interesting facts about the Search Engines. We've never thought the tool used to search for information from any topic had such a vast history.

    Really, thank you for sharing such detailed information on search engines.
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  • Profile picture of the author KylieSweet
    Its great to see the history of these search platforms in which evolving years by years to provide an accurate results to the users and benefit them with quality source.
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