The History Of Search Engines

Even before the World Wide Web, there were search engines that attempted to organize the Internet. 



The first of these was the Archie search engine from McGill University in 1990, followed in 1991 by WAIS and Gopher. 

All three of those systems predated the invention of the World Wide Web but all continued to index the Web and the rest of the Internet for several years after the Web appeared. 

There are still Gopher servers as of 2006, although there are a great many more web servers.


As the Web grew, search engines and Web directories were created to track pages on the Web and allow people to find things. The first full-text Web search engine was WebCrawler in 1994. 

Before WebCrawler, only Web page titles were searched. 

Another early search engine, Lycos, was created in 1993 as a university project, and was the first to achieve commercial success. 

During the late 1990s, both Web directories and Web search engines were popular—Yahoo! (founded 1994) and Altavista (founded 1995) were the respective industry leaders. 

By August 2001, the directory model had begun to give way to search engines, tracking the rise of Google (founded 1998), which had developed new approaches to relevancy ranking

Directory features, while still commonly available, became after-thoughts to search engines.

Database size, which had been a significant marketing feature through the early 2000s, was similarly displaced by emphasis on relevancy ranking, the methods by which search engines attempt to sort the best results first.

 Relevancy ranking first became a major issue circa 1996, when it became apparent that it was impractical to review full lists of results. 

Consequently, algorithms for relevancy ranking have continuously improved.

 Google's PageRank method for ordering the results has received the most press, but all major search engines continually refine their ranking methodologies with a view toward improving the ordering of results. 

As of 2006, search engine rankings are more important than ever, so much so that an industry has developed ("search engine optimizers", or "SEO") to help web-developers improve their search ranking, and an entire body of case law has developed around matters that affect search engine rankings, such as use of trademarks in metatags

The sale of search rankings by some search engines has also created controversy among librarians and consumer advocates.[101]

On June 3, 2009, Microsoft launched its new search engine, Bing.[102] The following month Microsoft and Yahoo! announced a deal in which Bing would power Yahoo! Search.[103]


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