History of Search Engines: From 1945 to Google Today

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Retrieved April 15, In addition to having strong technology and a strong brand Google also pays for a significant portion of their search market share. On September 26, , Yahoo! Retrieved October 5, Answers , a popular free community driven question answering service. This feature originally allowed users to type in their search query, click the button and be taken directly to the first result, bypassing the search results page.

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Veronica served the same purpose as Archie, but it worked on plain text files. Soon another user interface name Jughead appeared with the same purpose as Veronica, both of these were used for files sent via Gopher, which was created as an Archie alternative by Mark McCahill at the University of Minnesota in If you had a file you wanted to share you would set up an FTP server.

If someone was interested in retrieving the data they could using an FTP client. This process worked effectively in small groups, but the data became as much fragmented as it was collected. While an independent contractor at CERN from June to December , Berners-Lee proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers.

With help from Robert Cailliau he built a prototype system named Enquire. The first Web site built was at http: It provided an explanation about what the World Wide Web was, how one could own a browser and how to set up a Web server. It was also the world's first Web directory, since Berners-Lee maintained a list of other Web sites apart from his own. Tim also created the Virtual Library , which is the oldest catalogue of the web.

Tim also wrote a book about creating the web, titled Weaving the Web. Computer robots are simply programs that automate repetitive tasks at speeds impossible for humans to reproduce. The term bot on the internet is usually used to describe anything that interfaces with the user or that collects data.

Search engines use "spiders" which search or spider the web for information. They are software programs which request pages much like regular browsers do. In addition to reading the contents of pages for indexing spiders also record links. Another bot example could be Chatterbots, which are resource heavy on a specific topic. These bots attempt to act like a human and communicate with humans on said topic.

Search engines consist of 3 main parts. Search engine spiders follow links on the web to request pages that are either not yet indexed or have been updated since they were last indexed. These pages are crawled and are added to the search engine index also known as the catalog. When you search using a major search engine you are not actually searching the web, but are searching a slightly outdated index of content which roughly represents the content of the web.

The third part of a search engine is the search interface and relevancy software. For each search query search engines typically do most or all of the following. Searchers generally tend to click mostly on the top few search results, as noted in this article by Jakob Nielsen , and backed up by this search result eye tracking study.

Notess's Search Engine Showdown offers a search engine features chart. There are also many popular smaller vertical search services. Soon the web's first robot came. He initially wanted to measure the growth of the web and created this bot to count active web servers. He soon upgraded the bot to capture actual URL's. His database became knows as the Wandex. The Wanderer was as much of a problem as it was a solution because it caused system lag by accessing the same page hundreds of times a day.

It did not take long for him to fix this software, but people started to question the value of bots. ALIWEB crawled meta information and allowed users to submit their pages they wanted indexed with their own page description.

This meant it needed no bot to collect data and was not using excessive bandwidth. Martijn Kojer also hosts the web robots page , which created standards for how search engines should index or not index content. This allows webmasters to block bots from their site on a whole site level or page by page basis.

By default, if information is on a public web server, and people link to it search engines generally will index it. In Google led a crusade against blog comment spam, creating a nofollow attribute that can be applied at the individual link level. After this was pushed through Google quickly changed the scope of the purpose of the link nofollow to claim it was for any link that was sold or not under editorial control. By December of , three full fledged bot fed search engines had surfaced on the web: JumpStation gathered info about the title and header from Web pages and retrieved these using a simple linear search.

As the web grew, JumpStation slowed to a stop. The problem with JumpStation and the World Wide Web Worm is that they listed results in the order that they found them, and provided no discrimination. The RSBE spider did implement a ranking system. Since early search algorithms did not do adequate link analysis or cache full page content if you did not know the exact name of what you were looking for it was extremely hard to find it. Excite came from the project Architext, which was started by in February, by six Stanford undergrad students.

They had the idea of using statistical analysis of word relationships to make searching more efficient. They were soon funded, and in mid they released copies of their search software for use on web sites. In October, Excite Home filed for bankruptcy. When Tim Berners-Lee set up the web he created the Virtual Library , which became a loose confederation of topical experts maintaining relevant topical link lists.

It was organized similar to how web directories are today. The biggest reason the EINet Galaxy became a success was that it also contained Gopher and Telnet search features in addition to its web search feature.

The web size in early did not really require a web directory; however, other directories soon did follow. Directory as a collection of their favorite web pages. As their number of links grew they had to reorganize and become a searchable directory. What set the directories above The Wanderer is that they provided a human compiled description with each URL. As time passed and the Yahoo! As time passed the inclusion rates for listing a commercial site increased.

Many informational sites are still added to the Yahoo! On September 26, , Yahoo! Directory at the end of , though it was transitioned to being part of Yahoo!

Small Business and remained online at business. In Rich Skrenta and a small group of friends created the Open Directory Project , which is a directory which anybody can download and use in whole or part. The Open Directory Project was grown out of frustration webmasters faced waiting to be included in the Yahoo! Netscape bought the Open Directory Project in November, DMOZ closed on March 17, When the directory shut down it had 3,, active listings in 90 languages.

Numerous online mirrors of the directory have been published at DMOZtools. Google offers a librarian newsletter to help librarians and other web editors help make information more accessible and categorize the web. The second Google librarian newsletter came from Karen G. Schneider, who was the director of Librarians' Internet Index.

LII was a high quality directory aimed at librarians. Her article explains what she and her staff look for when looking for quality credible resources to add to the LII.

Most other directories, especially those which have a paid inclusion option, hold lower standards than selected limited catalogs created by librarians. The LII was later merged into the Internet Public Library , which was another well kept directory of websites that went into archive-only mode after 20 years of service. Due to the time intensive nature of running a directory, and the general lack of scalability of a business model the quality and size of directories sharply drops off after you get past the first half dozen or so general directories.

There are also numerous smaller industry, vertically, or locally oriented directories. Donnelley, which let them to sell the Business. The Google Panda algorithm hit Business. Looksmart was founded in They competed with the Yahoo! Directory by frequently increasing their inclusion rates back and forth.

In Looksmart transitioned into a pay per click provider, which charged listed sites a flat fee per click. That caused the demise of any good faith or loyalty they had built up, although it allowed them to profit by syndicating those paid listings to some major portals like MSN.

The problem was that Looksmart became too dependant on MSN, and in , when Microsoft announced they were dumping Looksmart that basically killed their business model. In March of , Looksmart bought a search engine by the name of WiseNut , but it never gained traction. Looksmart also owns a catalog of content articles organized in vertical sites, but due to limited relevancy Looksmart has lost most if not all of their momentum.

All major search engines have some limited editorial review process, but the bulk of relevancy at major search engines is driven by automated search algorithms which harness the power of the link graph on the web.

In fact, some algorithms, such as TrustRank , bias the web graph toward trusted seed sites without requiring a search engine to take on much of an editorial review staff. Thus, some of the more elegant search engines allow those who link to other sites to in essence vote with their links as the editorial reviewers. Unlike highly automated search engines, directories are manually compiled taxonomies of websites. Directories are far more cost and time intensive to maintain due to their lack of scalability and the necessary human input to create each listing and periodically check the quality of the listed websites.

General directories are largely giving way to expert vertical directories, temporal news sites like blogs , and social bookmarking sites like del. In addition, each of those three publishing formats I just mentioned also aid in improving the relevancy of major search engines, which further cuts at the need for and profitability of general directories. It was the first crawler which indexed entire pages.

Soon it became so popular that during daytime hours it could not be used. AOL eventually purchased WebCrawler and ran it on their network. WebCrawler opened the door for many other services to follow suit. Within 1 year of its debuted came Lycos, Infoseek, and OpenText. Lycos was the next major search development, having been design at Carnegie Mellon University around July of Michale Mauldin was responsible for this search engine and remains to be the chief scientist at Lycos Inc.

On July 20, , Lycos went public with a catalog of 54, documents. In addition to providing ranked relevance retrieval, Lycos provided prefix matching and word proximity bonuses. But Lycos' main difference was the sheer size of its catalog: Infoseek also started out in , claiming to have been founded in January.

They really did not bring a whole lot of innovation to the table, but they offered a few add on's, and in December they convinced Netscape to use them as their default search, which gave them major exposure. One popular feature of Infoseek was allowing webmasters to submit a page to the search index in real time, which was a search spammer's paradise.

AltaVista debut online came during this same month. AltaVista brought many important features to the web scene. They had nearly unlimited bandwidth for that time , they were the first to allow natural language queries, advanced searching techniques and they allowed users to add or delete their own URL within 24 hours.

They even allowed inbound link checking. AltaVista also provided numerous search tips and advanced search features. Due to poor mismanagement, a fear of result manipulation, and portal related clutter AltaVista was largely driven into irrelevancy around the time Inktomi and Google started becoming popular.

Search, and occasionally use AltaVista as a testing platform. The Inktomi Corporation came about on May 20, with its search engine Hotbot.

Two Cal Berkeley cohorts created Inktomi from the improved technology gained from their research. Hotwire listed this site and it became hugely popular quickly.

Although Inktomi pioneered the paid inclusion model it was nowhere near as efficient as the pay per click auction model developed by Overture. Licensing their search results also was not profitable enough to pay for their scaling costs. They failed to develop a profitable business model, and sold out to Yahoo! In April of Ask Jeeves was launched as a natural language search engine. Ask Jeeves used human editors to try to match search queries.

Ask was powered by DirectHit for a while, which aimed to rank results based on their popularity, but that technology proved to easy to spam as the core algorithm component. In the Teoma search engine was released, which uses clustering to organize sites by Subject Specific Popularity, which is another way of saying they tried to find local web communities.

Jon Kleinberg's Authoritative sources in a hyperlinked environment [PDF] was a source of inspiration what lead to the eventual creation of Teoma. IAC owns many popular websites like Match. In Ask Jeeves was renamed to Ask, and they killed the separate Teoma brand. AllTheWeb was a search technology platform launched in May of to showcase Fast's search technologies.

Search, and occasionally use AllTheWeb as a testing platform. Most meta search engines draw their search results from multiple other search engines, then combine and rerank those results. This was a useful feature back when search engines were less savvy at crawling the web and each engine had a significantly unique index.

As search has improved the need for meta search engines has been reduced. Hotbot was owned by Wired, had funky colors, fast results, and a cool name that sounded geeky, but died off not long after Lycos bought it and ignored it. Upon rebirth it was born as a meta search engine. Unlike most meta search engines, Hotbot only pulls results from one search engine at a time, but it allows searchers to select amongst a few of the more popular search engines on the web. Currently Dogpile , owned by Infospace , is probably the most popular meta search engine on the market, but like all other meta search engines, it has limited market share.

I also created Myriad Search , which is a free open source meta search engine without ads. The major search engines are fighting for content and marketshare in verticals outside of the core algorithmic search product. For example, both Yahoo and MSN have question answering services where humans answer each other's questions for free. Google has a similar offering, but question answerers are paid for their work. Google, Yahoo, and MSN are also fighting to become the default video platform on the web, which is a vertical where an upstart named YouTube also has a strong position.

Yahoo and Microsoft are aligned on book search in a group called the Open Content Alliance. Google, going it alone in that vertical, offers a proprietary Google Book search. All three major search engines provide a news search service. Google has partnered with the AP and a number of other news sources to extend their news database back over years. Thousands of weblogs are updated daily reporting the news, some of which are competing with and beating out the mainstream media.

If that were not enough options for news, social bookmarking sites like Del. Google also has a Scholar search program which aims to make scholarly research easier to do. In some verticals, like shopping search, other third party players may have significant marketshare, gained through offline distribution and branding for example, yellow pages companies , or gained largely through arbitraging traffic streams from the major search engines.

On November 15, Google launched a product called Google Base , which is a database of just about anything imaginable. Google Search Help forum Forum. How autocomplete works Predictions are made based on factors, like the popularity and freshness of search terms. What other people are searching for, including Trending stories. Trending stories are popular topics in your area that change throughout the day.

To see Trending stories, go to Google Trends. How search predictions are made Search predictions are generated by an algorithm automatically without human involvement. Based on several factors, like how often others have searched for a term.

There are also products available from Google that are not directly search-related. Gmail , for example, is a webmail application, but still includes search features; Google Browser Sync does not offer any search facilities, although it aims to organize your browsing time.

In , Google claimed that a search query requires altogether about 1 kJ or 0. According to green search engine Ecosia , the industry standard for search engines is estimated to be about 0. In , a group of researchers observed a tendency for users to rely on Google Search exclusively for finding information, writing that "With the Google interface the user gets the impression that the search results imply a kind of totality.

In , Google Search query results have been shown to be tailored to users by Internet activist Eli Pariser , effectively isolating users in what he defined as a filter bubble. Pariser holds algorithms used in search engines such as Google Search responsible for catering "a personal ecosystem of information".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 16 September For the company itself, see Google. Google Search homepage as of December 2, Google Now and Google Assistant. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.

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