A search engine is a tool used to search for information on the Internet (World Wide Web). Typically, a user enters the text that they are searching for and the search engine returns relevant results in a list format. Modern search engines have a number of alternative functions including: image and media search, maps and directions, equations and conversions and much more. The best known search engine is Google, which is used for the vast majority of web searches. However, Yahoo! Search and Bing are also major players. Many smaller search engines also exist and many of these are designed for niche uses. Search engines are also integrated into many websites to assist users in finding information within their site. The earliest search engines were actually in use before the World Wide Web came into existance, let’s find out which one was the first.
Which search engine was the first on the Internet?
The Archie search engine is generally regarded as the first of the Internet search engines. It was written and developed by Alan Emtage, J. Peter Deutsch, and Bill Heelan, from McGill University. It began as a project at the university in 1987 and the original implementation was developed in 1990. In 1992 it was licensed and developed into a commercial version that was used by many people during the early days of the World Wide Web. However, the search engine was no longer being developed by the end of the 90’s.
ALIWEB, announced in 1993 and released in 1994, is sometimes considered to be the first true search engine for the web, because earlier search engines were actually indexers. ALIWEB required webmasters to submit their sites and this meant that it was not widely used. This search engine is no longer supported.
WebCrawler is often considered to be the first true search engine because it was the first to provide full text search. It was launched on April 20, 1994, and became the favorite search engine of many early Internet users. It was sold to AOL in 1995 and then Excite in 1997. It has been owned by Infospace since 2001, when Excite went bankrupt. It is still active, but is currently an aggregator of search results from other search engines.