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What were the first search engines?

     
3:37 pm on Nov 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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What were the first search engines and why were they created? Any idea where I can find this info?
3:43 pm on Nov 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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some will differ BUT


AltaVista, which means "a view from above", was inspired by the creation of big ideas and a fascination with keeping track of information. During the spring of 1995, scientists at Digital Equipment Corporation's Research lab in Palo Alto, CA, devised a way to store every word of every page on the entire Internet in a fast, searchable index. This lead to the development of the first searchable, full-text database on the World Wide Web."

[altavista.com...]

3:46 pm on Nov 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hasnt Google been kicking around for a while as well?

I remember vaguely being told about google and ODP in an information management module at uni (97/98 perhaps?). I assume they were both around before that (i know ODP isnt a SE...).

I didnt really pay much attention at uni tho....

JOAT ;)

3:48 pm on Nov 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I guess the question should be either "first Internet search engines" or first "world wide web" search engines.

Archie was developed in 1990 - Gopher and WAIS not much later. Internet search engines all - not sure about the www engines.

4:00 pm on Nov 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Yes the first internet search engine, Archie, Jughead, etc.
It my understanings that Gopher was the first and inspired the other FTP search engies.
4:02 pm on Nov 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I remember using gopher and then yahoo in 1995-1997 when I had access to the Internet via lynx and pine at Richmond Community College in Hamlet, NC.
4:03 pm on Nov 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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The "Best of the Web" award for "Navigation Aides" in 1994 mentions: AliWeb, Internet Meta-Index, Jumpstation, W3Catalog, and WorldWideWebWorm.

Directory-turned-obscure-PPC-engine Galaxy has a long page on the history of web search:
[galaxy.com...]
.. in which the "World Wide Web Wanderer" is called the mother of all search engines.

The earliest ones mentioned that still exist in some form:

Excite (1993)
Galaxy (1994) directory
Yahoo (1994) directory
WebCrawler (1994) first full-text search
Lycos (1994)
Infoseek (1994)
Altavista (1995) first natural language queries, boolean operators, link search
Metacrawler (1995)
Inktomi/Hotbot (1996)

As to why: Just about all of them were university research projects.
Google came much later JOAT, 1998 I believe?

9:40 pm on Nov 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I don't know the years they began but I'd say Verity & Desktop Data, if not the first around, close to it...but depends how you define search engine...
12:53 am on Nov 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

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HERE'S [searchengineworld.com] some local info.

lawman

6:11 pm on Nov 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Don't forget Veronica ... pre-www Internet search. Just do a Google search on 'veronica internet search' and you should get the whole scoop on Veronica, Jughead, Archie, WAIS and Gophers.
2:47 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I remember the WorldWideWebWorm. Wasn't it just an alphabetical listing of Web sites? I remember exploring the Web with Mosaic or Cello back in the early 1990s and finding a link to the WorldWideWebWorm, which was like discovering the mother lode in those days.

Mind you, that was the era when the Web and the Internet were like ham radio was in the 1940s or 1950s. It was exciting, or at least fun, just to have the ability to view the inventory of a Coke machine in Australia in real time or to see the coffee room of a Cambridge University computer-science department via an early Webcam. I remember running across bio pages of students at Carnegie Mellon University (or the menu of an off-campus pizza parlor) and thinking "Wow!"

BTW, I just did a Google search and discovered (was reminded?) that the WorldWideWebWorm's creator, Oliver McCryan, received a "Best of the Web" award in 1994. And on a page at [inf.utfsm.cl...] I found:

The Worm is scouring the Web and has found almost all Web resources that are out there. We present the resources in several ways and provide you with search capabilities on this valuable database of over 100,000 multimedia objects. The Worm was last run on March 7. WWWW was accessed 61,488 times between then and April 22.

Webcrawler was another early search engine; you can read about it at:
[thesearchenginewars.com...]

12:14 am on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Martijn Koster announced Aliweb in November 1993. [webhistory.org]

It wasn't a crawler-based engine (webmasters had to submit their sites to be listed, and prep a summary file for the domain), but it did set some key precedents for meta-information on the Web. (It used "Description" and "Keywords" as field labels, which led to those labels' uses as META tags [bauser.com].)

5:57 am on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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webcrawler has to be up their

edit: sorry i didn't see europe4visitors little piece there.

I remember using webcrawler back in 1993, before Yahoo!

edit 2: delete.

7:50 am on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Slightly off - slightly on topic

Galaxy was the first web directory. Before Yahoo, Before Dmoz.

At least that is what they claim.

5:27 pm on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Excite (1993)
Galaxy (1994) directory
Yahoo (1994) directory
WebCrawler (1994) first full-text search
Lycos (1994)
Infoseek (1994)
Altavista (1995) first natural language queries, boolean operators, link search
Metacrawler (1995)
Inktomi/Hotbot (1996)

Where's Magellan? They were around until they merged with Excite at the turn of the millenium.

9:57 pm on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Also what about Open Text.
2:41 am on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The original academic paper at Stanford, USA, presenting the google prototype is at

[www-db.stanford.edu...]

and makes interesting reading. Also check out

[google.com...]

2:38 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hello,

Long, long time lurker (before the webmasterworld.com domain even).

A could not find an exact date for OpenText's launch.

However, it was an early full-text search engine. Not before Webcrawler, but early nonetheless.

Also, according to a searchenginewatch article [searchenginewatch.com], it was Yahoo's first search partner.

2:57 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Long, long time lurker (before the webmasterworld.com domain even).

Wow - that has to be some kind of record! I would say welcome to WebmasterWorld, but you've been around here far longer than me (or just about anyone) :)

3:17 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Marti_Gras

Thank you for the welcome.

Maybe there should be a contest for the longest lurker :).

I used to visit the forums quite a bit in 1999/2000 when I was doing some SEO.

I specifically remember Brett's post informing the community that he'd snagged the webmasterworld.com domain.

Again, thanks for the welcome.

Perhaps I'll get off my lazy behind and post more frequently :).

5:24 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Here's an informative post from The ResourceShelf with
links to actual announcements introducing many search engines and related technologies.

You can find the compilation here. [resourceshelf.freepint.com]

Also, The ResourceShelf has a lengthy look at many of the
early annoucements from Google.

You can find the compilation at this url. [resourceshelf.freepint.com]

[edited by: rubble88 at 5:27 pm (utc) on Jan. 5, 2003]

5:25 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Here's an informative post from The ResourceShelf with
links to actual announcements introducing many search engines and related technologies.

You can find the compilation here. [resourceshelf.freepint.com]

Also, The ResourceShelf has a lengthy look at many of the
early annoucements from Google and Backrub.

You can find the compilation at this url. [resourceshelf.freepint.com]

eszter

7:58 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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On a related note, I'm curious when the first search engine alliances happened. I know of resources out there that show you today's alliances (e.g. [searchenginewatch.com...] ), but I'd be interested in a timeline of them.

(I couldn't tell if the Members Only section of Search Engine Watch would have that. I've been trying to sign up all weekend but there's an error and their over-the-phone payment option doesn't work over the weekend.)

I'm interested in seeing how search engines and portals created alliances over time. Any pointers? Thanks!

PS. On a different note.. I'm not supposed to be a completely new user, I've been on here before, but my username disappeared.:(

8:21 am on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone remember Savvy Search? It was one of the earliest meta search engines I recall seeing... developed by the University of Colorado, I believe, in 1997 or earlier.
8:35 am on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The WW worm seems to my first rememberance of a true web search engine. Soon after that I buried my WAIS and gopher!

The only other very vague memory was something called IGN or similar, and that it was a forerunner of Inktomi. But its a very vague memory.

Iid never forget the day I found AV. I remember brethessly telling my boss the news to which he replied.. "you found another bloody search engine?.." So i obviously knew a few more too.

3:24 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yep, SavvySearch was one of the first metas.

Dally Sullivan in a SearchDay article [searchenginewatch.com] even hints that it may have been the first. (Danny claims that it has been around since March 1995, although most other source I found listed the launch as May 1995 )

Another good link with a number of search engine launch dates that I've found is The Major Search Engines at Timeline [timelinecommunications.com]

6:32 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Interesting thread -- I was just updating some of my timeline information today coincidentally, so I can add a few key history links:

A History of Search Engines
[wiley.com...]
(really excellent for early dates!)

A Brief History of WebCrawler
[thinkpink.com...]

Seek and Ye Shall Find (Maybe)
[wired.com...]

Bigger and better: Internet search engines are continuing to evolve
[startext.net...]

> I couldn't tell if the Members Only section of Search Engine Watch would have that. I've been trying to sign up all weekend but there's an error and their over-the-phone payment option doesn't work over the weekend.

Sorry you had the problem -- I'll pass it on to the customer service people. Yes, the section does have that, all the alliance charts I've created going back to March 1996.

> Another good link with a number of search engine launch dates that I've found is The Major Search Engines at Timeline

How can I put this politely? The text over there at Timeline is oddly similar to my own Major Search Engines page from about two years ago. Suffice to say, I'll be sending them a note regarding some copyright concerns I have, and the current Major Search Engines page that I've written with key dates is at [searchenginewatch.com...]

Brett's got his own "Search Engine Players: A Brief History" page that's great for early dates, as well:
[searchengineworld.com...]

7:06 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi Danny,

Thank you for the links, and thank you for your site, btw. :) The search engine history on the Wiley site is going into my bookmarks as we speak.


How can I put this politely? The text over there at Timeline is oddly similar to my own Major Search Engines page from about two years ago.

Yes, it sure does have a peculiar similarity to it.

One more to share:
This morning I found a nice history of early gopher and web searching technolgies on Galaxy's site.
[galaxy.com ]

7:32 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Where's Magellan?

Acording to the following link
[lub.lu.se ]
The McKinley Group was founded in 1993, and Magellan was launched during August 1995.

A old news.com story also mentions that the directory went live in the summer of 1995.
[news.com.com ]

Also, a June 28, 1996 news.com story mention the Excite-Magellan merger.
[news.com.com ]

9:39 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've collected quite a few links relating to the history of search/search engines.

[nethistory.urldir.com...]

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