History of search engine – At a Glance

Search engines are distinct, help people to find out specific data and information anytime and anywhere. In a nutshell, search engines are a tool that enables us to find the actual information from a huge database server.

In today’s world, the search engine is the program that we may use the most. We can’t think about our day without using search engines. However, many search engines have been out there over a long period of time. And today, we have search engines like google, yahoo, Bing and so on.

History of search engine

It is well known to all of us that modern technology has evolved over time. Mobile phone, for instance, how it looks when the telephone was first invented and how does it look now? Things have undoubtedly happened in between the past telephones and modern smartphones.

Similarly, there are a lot of turns and twists in the history of search engines also. A search engine is now not only a matter of study and proper understanding but also an issue of taking advantage by using it for our own purpose. To get a higher advantage through search engines you have to be an expert or hire a search engine optimization expert (SEO). Nevertheless, there are a lot more interesting issues when we are actually talking about the history of the search engine. No problem, we are here with you and we have found all of them to inform and make you clear in this regard. So, let’s jump straight into that


What is a search engine?

Search engine is a system designed to locate required information or data. Users who need information, simply go to the search engine and enter a particular search term. Then the search engine brings all the information in its own database related to that search query.

Search engines show a wide list of data sorted by their importance to the user who searches on the search engine. The process may seem simple but there are a lot of functions that perform behind the scenes when someone searches in search engines.

You may be surprised to learn how search engines find out individual information in the collection of information stored in its database.  We will gradually learn everything about search engines in the upcoming part but for now, we got an interesting thing to inform you the modern search engine can observe over three billion documents within a minimum rate of 10 TB data.

It can handle more than 150 million queries per day and thousands of queries per second!

A long walk through the history of search engine- From where everything started to the present

Search engines make our life pretty easier itself. Whatever we need, is it just a little bit of information about any sophisticated issue or we need a book in an urgency. No matter the need, you can use a search engine to find a solution to anything in your day-to-day life.

Present search engines are way too smarter than their old version. With search engines in our hands, we are now doing things like ordering products just staying in our home that will be delivered on the next of our door. without this, video conferencing, booking tickets for your next day’s arriving, booking a hotel room, finding a guide in the place where you are almost new is some kinds of as usual circumstances in our daily search engine activities.

But at the time when all this started to happen, wasn’t as easy as it is now. Yes! It would be mentionable that there were times when you have to know the exact name of the webpage to find that out online.

At present the search engine program is at its highest level of development when you can easily create a website with the name you wished, uploading text, video and image content to make up your desired content, and almost you have the ability to build up a particular brand within a day through online.

And the most interesting fact is, whenever anyone uses to search your brand name in any search engine, they will exactly get to know you. Did you ever think, how a search engine works or how it was when it was first made?

What was the first search engine created?

As we look at history, we see that the Internet was invented before search engines. If we take a closer look, we will find that it all started on January 1, 1983, when ARPANET adopted TCP/IP which formed on the modern internet after huge research and analysis.

In addition to that, we found the very first search engine used to admit in the history of a search engine is called “Archie” which was founded probably in 1989 or 1990.

But another source said, the story of the search engine started before the invention of the internet. There is also evidence of the incident that took place in 1960 at Cornell University. A system was developed by Gerard Salton and his group which is called SMART information retrieval system. The term SMART stands for System for The Mechanical Analysis and Retrieval of Text and it yields a set of corpora, queries and reference rankings that was taken from different sources like

  • Science reviews
  • Aeronautic reviews
  • Computer science
  • Library science
  • Medical reviews
  • Archives of the generalist review

However, SMART was an early module of an information retrieval system that actually developed the very first search engine concept at that time.

So, it is now almost clear that the journey of search engines started in 1990 with the invention of “Archie” and at the same time we are also entering one of the important historical parts of computer science.

Before going into the deeper, let’s get a quick look at what coming in next,

History of search engine – at a glance

  • 1990- Archie, the grandfather of all search engine was invented
  • 1991- Gopher
  • 1992- Veronica, the grandmother of all search engine entered the scene
  • 1993- Archie’s pal, Jughead
  • 1993- World Wide Web Wanderer – the first web robot
  • 1993- the webs oldest existing search engine
  • 1993- the birth of excite
  • 1994- a galaxy of webpages
  • 1994- Yahoo
  • 1994- The WebCrawler
  • 1994- Lycos
  • 1994- InfoSeek
  • 1995- The Metasearch
  • 1995- AltaVista
  • 1995- LookSmart
  • 1996- Hotbot
  • 1996- Ask Jeeves
  • 1997- GoTo
  • 1997-Northern Light
  • 1998- the open-source directory project
  • 1998- Google
  • 1998- MSN
  • 1998- DirectHit
  • 1999- all the web
  • 2000- Baidu
  • 2000-Teoma
  • 2001- Wisenut
  • 2002- Yahoo! Started working on their search engine
  • 2003- Microsoft redux
  • 2004- MSN launches preview of new search engine
  • 2005- Goodsearch
  • 2005-searchMe
  • 2005-snap search engine
  • 2005- Powerset- an understanding search engine
  • 2006- picollator
  • 2006- wikia search
  • 2006- Viewzi
  • 2007- wikiseek
  • 2007- sproose
  • 2007- Blackle
  • 2008- Cuil
  • 2008- DuckDuckGo
  • 2008- LeapFish
  • 2008- Forestle
  • Sperse- 2008
  • VADLO- 2008
  • 2009- Bing
  • YEBOL- 2009
  • 2009- Goby
  • 2010- Blekko
  • 2010- a web indexing system released by google called caffeine update
  • 2011- Exalead
  • 2011- Schema.org
  • 2012- Google’s Penguin update
  • 2013- the first search algorithm Hummingbird launched
  • 2013- Qwant
  • 2014- Google started to prioritize HTTPS as a ranking signal
  • 2015- Bings mobile-friendly update released
  • 2016- Google’s internal system modification
  • 2017- Google started castigating sites that were using interstitial and pop-up ads

On the list shown above, we could get a quick sense of incidents that took part in the long history of search engines from the beginning year 1990 to 2017.

Now we are going to get a detailed shot of that incident year by year. If you are really interested to know about the journey, then here is the most sophisticated and fulfilling piece of information that we have managed only for you. So, let’s begin the journey from the time it all started,

Archie – the very first search engine in the history – September 1990

We have already got to know that the first search engine that has been invented in the history of a search engine is named ‘Archie’. Alan Emtage who was a student of McGill University in Montreal created the first FTP file search engine in 1990.


Basically, Archie was a tool for indexing and searching FTP sites, therefore, it was some kind of FTP archives. But mainly it dealt with two main activity, they are,

  • Indexing contents of the public FTP server
  • Help to find the specific file to download

Being the very first search engine tool, Archie was so developed and noteworthy. When anyone needs to search any file on Archie database, they have to search on the basis of the exact file name. Then Archie would direct them on the path where the system holds a copy of the file.

Archie could periodically reach out to all known available FTP sites, list their files and also create a searchable index. The commands that work behind the Archie system were named UNIX commands. Users had expertise on UNIX commands to make the full use of Archie software.

At that time, however, Archie was an important move in using the internet to gain information. Due to limited space, content for each site was not available for listing in Archie.

1991 – World Wide Web Virtual Library (VLib) and Gopher invented

Gopher was a modification system that is invented to make resource locating and finding easier on the internet. The internet communication protocol is designed for distributing, searching, and retrieving documents so that internet users have a little faster journey to find their important data on the internet. So, it is mainly designed to develop the user interface.


The system Gopher was developed in the early 1990s by the team of Mark McCahill at the University of Minnesota. At that time, Gopher offered certain featured material which was not natively endorsed by the web.

Also, its hierarchical structure provided a platform for the first large-scale electronic library connections. Gopher’s text menu interface is ideal for computing applications that depend exclusively on virtual server consoles that orientate text.

However, the Gopher browser could only view text-based files before the innovations of Hyper Gopher, which would easily handle graphical formats.

By the mid-1990s Gopher developed significantly, but, in 1993 the University of Minnesota which held the Gopher intellectual property rule, agreed to commence charging for all Gopher installation licenses.

Unfortunately, the World Wide Web was also launched and released as a completely free platform for all internet users. Consequently, it is anticipated that users started to use WWW after 1993 to escape the Gopher licensing cost.

In 1991, the World Wide Web developer Tim Berners-Lee built a virtual library to access online URLs to various web pages. In fact, it is the first content index on the World Wide Web and it still works as an e-texts directory and web source. Unlike commercial index sites, it runs by a flexible amateur confederacy that establishes main link pages for specific areas of expertise.

However, the virtual library was hosted by the CERN web servers and coordinated by an elected council. The project was later expanded and controlled by Arthur Secret for several years.

Veronica – 1992

The system veronica was a system of Archie model to the Gopher protocol that was released in November 1992. It got the name from the Archie comics character Veronica Lodge. The name has an acronym that is “Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Net Wide Index to Computer Archives”.

Actually, Veronica was a resource discovery system that used to store information about Gopher servers and also queried to track information about documents stored on the Gopher servers indexed.

The development of the Gopher server led to inventing two new search programs; veronica is one of them. Its database was a collection of menus from most Gopher sites. That means, when anyone did a Veronica search, they were actually searching the menu items.

Veronica works by creating an on-the-spot menu that is requested to it. But veronica would not only present you with a list of Gopher menu items, but it would also act like Gopher.

Jughead – 1993

Jughead, on the other hand, was distinct from veronica. It was developed by Rhett Jones in 1993 at the University of Utah. The reason for the name is to keep a similarity with Archie search engine, as Jughead Jones is Archie’s friend in Archie Comics.


However, Jughead searched a single server at a time, it used to build its database in memory as it indexed the servers quickly. But Jughead became so slow at the time when it used all of the available memory, while Veronica didn’t have a problem like this.

Due to the trademark issues, the modified version of Jughead was called Jugtail which has been available to download on GNU Savannah.

World Wide Web Wanderer – the first web robot – 1993

The World Wide Web Wanderer was a web crawler based on pearl, and it is also the known as a wanderer. By measuring the size of the World Wide Web, Wanderer was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by Matthew Gray, and the program was deployed in June 1993.

An indexing system that is used to generate by Wanderer called the Windex made it become a general-purpose WWW search engine that attempted to provide a general searchable catalog for WWW resources.

The bot also gauged Internet growth and the active web servers were reconfigured to capture the actual URLs soon. However, there is a lag in the program over access to the same page.

Excite – 1993

Excite was one of the best-known brands on the web in the 1990s decade and was nominated as the sixth most visited website in 1997 and fourth in 2000. In June 1993, Excite was originally launched by a group of Stanford University students at the garage in Cupertino, California.


As a web portal, excite launched in 1995 that used to serve a variety of content including news and weather, a metasearch engine, a web-based email, instant messaging, stock quotes and a customizable user homepage.

In the USA a personal start page called My Excite has been adjusted as the main website of Excite. It also operated an email service. Excite continued to operate until the Excite network was acquired by Ask Jeeves in March 2004.

Primitive Web Search – 1993

In December 1993, three full-fledged bot fed search engines had surfaced on the web, they are gradual,

  • JumpStation
  • World Wide Web Worm
  • RBSE spider

Jump Station – 1993

Jump Station was the first application that used a web crawler system to create a search engine index. A web robot has been used to find web pages and build an index and also to interface its query software with the web form in its system.

Therefore, Jump Station was the first world wide web resource discovery tool that behaved and appeared to the user and combines the three essential features of a web search engine (crawling, indexing and searching). So, we can say that Jump Station was the first web crawling function that was developed on 12 December 1993. The system was hosted at the University of Stirling in Scotland by Jonathon Fletcher, the father of modern search.

JumpStation used document titles and headings to index the web pages found using a simple linear search and didn’t provide any ranking of the result. However, JumpStation has the same basic shape as Google search in that it is used as an index solely built by a web robot, searched this index using keyword queries entered by the user on a web form whose location was well known.

JumpStation web crawler has indexed 275,000 entries running on a single shared server in Scotland within less than a year.

World Wide Web Worm – 1993

It is known as one of the earliest search engines that were developed in September 1993 by Oliver McBryan at the University of Colorado. A data base of 300 000 multimedia objects, obtainable or searched for keywords through WWW, was created at that time by the worldwide webworm.

Featuring support for Perl regular expression, WWWW indexed about 110,000 web pages only in 1994.


Infoseek – 1994

In January 1994 there was a popular search engine launched as a for use service that is named Infoseek which could submit a page in real-time. The webmaster was designed by Steve Kirsch but next, Infoseek was bought by the Walt Disney Company in 1999.


In 1997, Infoseek had 7.3 million visitors per month and at that time, it was the 7th most visited website consequently 5th in 1996 and 10th in 1998. In 1998, 43% stake of Infoseek was purchased by Disney and in 1999, Disney acquired the remaining stake of Infoseek.

Infoseek was one of the first search engines to sell advertising on a CPM, Cost per Thousand Impressions, basis. 1998 saw the development and launch of behavioral targeting by InFoseek as the first internet company to implement its UltraMatch algorithms.

However, Disney redirected the Infoseek domain name to Go.com and after that, it no longer remained a particular brand in North America.

EINet Galaxy – 1994

In January 1994, the EINet Galaxy was founded as a web directory that functioned similarly to the present web directory function. Since EINet Galaxy contained both Gopher and Telnet search features in its own web search feature, it became a successful web directory soon.

However, the entire EINet program was a part of the EINet division at the MCC research consortium at the University of Texas. In April 1995, Sunriver Corporation purchased EINet and its name was changed to TradeWave Corporation.

ALIWEB – 1994

ALIWEB was the short term for Archie like Indexing for the Web which was considered the first web search engine that appeared in November 1994. ALIWEB allowed users to send index file locations to their sites which allowed the search engine to include web pages and add user explanations and search terms.


The Meta information was created by Martijn Koster and enabled the user to submit the pages he wished to index together with the summary.

ALIWEB distinguishes itself by not dynamically indexing sites from its predecessors such as AltaVista. If a webmaster would like a site indexed to ALIWEB, he/she would need to write an ALIWEB server file and enroll it.

Because of such difficulty, ALIWEB has a much smaller database than search engines such as Lycos and has suffered in popularity. ALIWEB provided a tool allowing users to just keep track of the services they provide, in such a way that programs could simply pick up their descriptions, and combine them into a searchable database.

Yahoo! – 1994

At present, there is no internet user who doesn’t know about the Yahoo search engine. Though it is not as popular as Google, the face is, Yahoo was founded before Google. In April 1994, David Filo and Jerry Yang created the Yahoo directory as their favourite webpage collection.

Yahoo directory was one of the biggest contributions of search engine history. Yahoo started as a directory of web pages that don’t use a web crawler. It has a large collection of authoritative sites that was probably the largest at that time.

Its market capitalization rose 600 percent over two years, and Yahoo was made public in April 1996. Yahoo has added the website, like many search engines and web directories, and has competed with services such as Excite, Lycos and America Online.

By 1998, Yahoo was the most popular starting point for web users and the most popular search engine, receiving 95 million page views per day which was triple the number compared to rival Excite.

Yahoo! Was and still is- according to the web analytics, Yahoo was the most widely read news and media website – with over 7 billion views per month, ranked as the sixth most visited website globally in 2016.

Do you know the word ‘Yahoo’ has an acronym that is ‘Yet another Hierarchical Organized Oracle’? The term hierarchical describes how the Yahoo database is arranged in layers of subcategories and the term Oracle relies on to mean ‘Source of Truth and Wisdom’.

WebCrawler – 1994

WebCrawler is the first search engine that came with the possibility to fully index the content on web pages which means it was able to make every word and phrase searchable. The first WebCrawler was a desktop application developed by Brian Pinkerton, a CSE student at the University of Washington who used to start WebCrawler in his spare time.


During its launching period, it contained over 4000 websites in its database and on November 14, 1994, WebCrawler served its 1 million search queries for nuclear weapons design and research.

On June 1 1995, WebCrawler was acquired by America Online. After being acquired, it was introduced through a Spidey mascot from September 1, 1995. The WebCrawler was unique in its one aspect, that is, it was the first web robot that was capable of indexing every word on a web page, while other bots were storing a URL, a title and at most 100 words.

Lycos – 1994

Starting as a research project Lycos revealed itself as a web search engine and web portal in 1994. The program Lycos was established by Michael Loren Mauldin of Carnegie Mellon University at Pittsburgh.


Lycos ranked eighth in 1997 and fourth in 1999 and 2001, as one of the most popular web pages on the Internet. In August 2004 Terra the owner of Lycos announced that they were selling Lycos to Seoul, South Korea based Daum Communication Corporation.

However, unlike other search engines, Lycos was a full corporate business out of the gate. At the time of its launch, Lycos indexed about 400,000 documents per month and the number grew to 600000000 documents within two years. It was the main reason for Lycos popularity as its huge catalog of indexed documents.

AltaVista – 1995


AltaVista was another popular search engine in 1995 and it became one of the most used search engines in the search history. But its popularity waned due to the presence of google and Yahoo purchased AltaVista.

On July 8, 2013, Yahoo shut down AltaVista service and redirected the domain with Yahoo!’s own search site.

AltaVista search engine was developed by the researchers of Digital Equipment corporation’s Network System Laboratory and western research laboratory.

However, AltaVista was the first full-text database on the web that could suggest data based on the texts. It went up to 300000 hits on the first day when it was launched that goes to 80 million per day. It received 13 million queries every day.



LookSmart was invented by Australian husband and wife Evan Thornley and Tracy Ellery who were executives of McKinsey Company on the job. The concept of LookSmart was built up to being a female and family-friendly web portal. But somehow on 28 October 1996, the owner of the LookSmart launched it as a search engine.

Anyhow, LookSmart competed with yahoo, it offered search, machine learning, chatbot technologies and so on.

Actually, LookSmart works as a search advertiser, document management, online content company, and technology. You can still find their distinguished search engine on the internet.

HotBot – 1996

HotBot is a tool that is created to provide search results based on the Inktomi Database. Inktomi was co-developed to design the search engine with a four-month-old startup staffed by University of California and Berkley students.


Search engine HotBot listed on Hotwire. Because of its colourful interface and impressive features, soon, it has become popular and started to compete with AltaVista. At the same time, we found another metasearch site that was Dogpile.

The site was developed by Aaron Film and began operation in November 1996. HotBot featured Direct Hit Technology which was a tool to manipulate click-through data results. Since 1998, HotBot was the 19th most frequently visited web-based site.

HotBot updated its server more than its rival and it was one of the first search engines to have search capabilities. HotBot also provided a free web hosting service only for a brief period of time but that was retrieved without prior notice.

HotBot was one of his day’s best search engines, with a spider that can index ten million pages a day. HotBot was not only able to reindex all previously indexed pages to make sure they were up to date.

However, Lycos acquired HotBot as part of its acquisition of Wired in October 1998, and it was run alongside the Lycos already existing search engine.

BackRub – Early Google – 1996

In 1996, backrub was formed as a search engine which was initially prerelease of google. Google was officially launched in 1998 and developed a search algorithm first known as BackRub in 1996.


Backrub was researched by Larry Page and Sergey brin who both were students at Stanford University in California. In the project, Scott Hassan was the programmer who was involved as an unofficial third founder of the program.

“BackRub is written in Java and Python and runs on several Sun Ultras and Intel Pentiums running Linux. The primary database is kept on a Sun Ultra II with 28 GB of disk. Scott Hassan and Alan Steremberg have provided a great deal of very talented implementation help. Sergey Brin has also been very involved and deserves many thanks.” Larry Page, co-founder of Google.

However, they named it wired because the program is used to analyze the backlinks of the web to understand how to import a website was, what other sites it is related to. BackRub worked on servers in Stanford until the bandwidth was finally too high.

The program BackRub also works toward ranking web pages by citation notation which means if the name of the website is mentioned on another website, BackRub could count it and give rank to the website.

AskJeeves/Ask.com – 1996


Ask.com was a prominent search engine named as AskJeeves when it first came into the scene. It was actually a question-answer focusing website that was developed by Garett Gruener and David Warthen in 1996. And one year after, ask Jeeves launched in April 1997 with the concept that was similar to present Quora or Reddit.

The software was early implemented by Gary Chevsky, from his own design. The early askjeeves.com was built by Warthen, Chevsky, Justin Grant and others around that core engine.

Ask Jeeves was original idea for users to get responses in the linguistic form as well as traditional keyword research questions posed in daily practice. Ask Jeeves was always one of the most popular search engines and still, now, it is competing with the big three of Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

In 2006, the name part of Jeeves in the name of ask Jeeves was dropped and the search engine rebranded itself to ask.com.

At present, ask.com earns over 100 million global users per month and has seen strong financial growth in recent years which has funded its acquisition of other companies.

GoTo – The Forgotten search engine – 1997


When you are digging deep inside the history of a search engine, it will seem quite difficult for you to get actually what happened in the early inventions time. Because so many incidents happened at that moment that isn’t even exactly mentioned in so many pieces of evidence.

GoTo, for instance, was a search engine that is forgotten by the present world. Though there are reasons that held me to forget it which is Google. GoTo launched in 1997, designed and developed by Idealab’s Pasadena-based incubator, and also has been responsible for companies like NetZero, Picasa, and answer.com.

The firm Idealabs that developed it was run by Bill Gross. He was certainly interested in the improvement of the search engine so he brought the World Wide Web Worm which was one of the first search engines we have seen.

GoTo builds out a new marketplace where advertisers could visit this online marketplace and bid against one another to get higher placement under certain search keywords. At that time, each result started at exactly one cent and popular keywords would be worth far more than that.

In order to make the deal more attractive, GoTo claimed that advertisers would only pay when a user clicked on a connection, not for every time when they see it. Therefore, it is easy to understand, the search engine marketing that we currently face in our online journey that was started by the authority of the GoTo search engine in 1997.

By 2001, GoTo had gone well beyond being a search engine company, to a pay-per-click technology partner with leading search engines. GoTo was renamed Overture to better communicate the company’s position as the premier provider of search engine and advertising services to companies doing business online.

The overture was brought by Yahoo in 2003.

Northern Light – 1997


In the world of search engines, Northern Light was similar to what Apple was to the computer world. Northern Light developed a fanatical following shortly after its launch but held a rather small shared market, especially in comparison to Lycos and AltaVista’s likes.

Northern Light was established to sell the personalized search engine to companies by David Seuss, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The search methodology offered by northern light; it was more sophisticated than other search engines.

Northern Light from its founding in 1997 until January 2002, operated a web search engine for public use. During this time period, it also developed an enterprise offering of private custom search engines that is built for large corporate clients and marketed under the trade name single point. At that moment, Yandex was the largest Russian Internet Search Engine.

Before bringing the Chicago-based internet DIVINE Inc. to $16 million in 2002, which subsequent bankruptcy, North Light ran $70 million in risk capital and bankrolling. Seuss bought Northern Light assets at a bankruptcy auction for $81000 in 2003 and relaunched the search engine shortly after.

MSN Search – 1998


MSN launched as a web portal with related internet service for windows and mobile devices on August 24, 1995. It was a Microsoft creation that comes with its name MSN meaning Microsoft Network.

The company launched a new web portal named Microsoft Internet Start and set it as the first default home page of internet explorer, its web browser.

But in 1998, Microsoft renamed the domain name of the web portal and moved to www.msn.com. At that time, The Microsoft Network was initially a subscription-based dial-up online service that became an internet service provider later.

If we look through the story, we would see that the MSN.com domain name was used by Microsoft primarily to promote MSN as an online service and internet service provider. MSN.com offered a customized start page and web tuition at the time.

In 1998, a family of sites produced inside Microsoft’s interactive media group among them the mainly underused MSN.com domain name was combined with Microsoft internet start and reinvented as both a web portal.

The new website put MSN in direct competition with sites such as Yahoo, Excite, and Go network.

Google Launches – 1998


Google that we have already found as the name BackRub in the search engine history was officially launched as Google in 1998. It is Google that is covering the whole world being the most popular search engine in history single-handedly.

Google was established at Stanford University by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google was formerly known as BackRub and the reason behind that is already, we have known. Because of its several search engine algorithms and technology, it proved successful a few times.

The name Google originated from a misspelling of Googol which refers to the number represented by a 1 followed by one hundred zeroes. About naming Google, its founder said that “we choose our systems name, Google, because it is a common spelling of googol or 10^100 and fits well with our goal of building very large-scale search engines.”

And the interesting fact you should know is, if you search the word google in Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary or the oxford dictionary, you would find the meaning “to use the google search engine to obtain information on the internet.”

Today you can find google everywhere you go or everything you have to do online.

Whatever the beginning of the journey was not so pleasant for Page and Brin. As they were students, they needed a huge amount of money to keep the project moving on thoroughly. Thus, they have got their first seed investment of $1,00000 by the co-founder of Sun Microsystems. It was a great contribution of Sun and they gave it to a corporation that did not exist yet.

On June 7, 1999, the seed funding went a total of $1 million were the major investors have come from the rival venture capital firms.

In March 2001, Brin and Page ultimately acquiesced and hired Eric Schmidt as Google the first CEO.

A short timeline of Google Search

Since Google search is unquestionably the most popular search engine at present, which is launched for a long period of time. but it holds up with hard existence and is systematically updated over time.

Even in the present situation, google continues its status as the world’s most influential search engine with 95% of online search occurrences particularly. There are so many competitive advantages that make google such a search engine like this.

However, it all started with an algorithm that is not so simple in overview and works analytically to search indexes and instantly deliver the best possible result for a query.

In its early years, Google did only a few changes to the algorithms that drastically increased to tens of thousands every year. Here is the timeline of google search from the year it was started to the present,

1996 -BackRub former of google

1997- On September 15, 1997, the domain google.com is registered

1998 – Launched as google

2000 – Launched in 13 new languages and google AdWords launched with 350 customers. Google toolbar is released allowing people to search without visiting the Google homepage and also offering them more information about the web pages they visit. This signifies the start of optimization of the search engine and googles dance.

2001 – Google launched google image search with over 250 million images in its database in July 2001. Also, it released its first annual google Zeitgeist which was a review of products and services provided by google published in December.

2002 – Google launched google news in September. This year, Google made the first publicly announced update to its search algorithm which also occurred in September.

2003 – In February 2003 Google announced the Boston update at SES Boston. The update came with major algorithmic changes and the promise of frequent index updates. In April 2003, Google announced the Cassandra update. The update claims to crack down on link spam, including the mutual links between co-owned websites, as well as hidden texts and hidden links. In May 2003, Google announced the Dominic update that affected the way backlinks were counted. In 2003, Google also came up with several updates which are the Esmeralda update, Fritz update, supplemental index, and Florida update, and also launched google print that would become google books.

2004 – Google announced Austin in January, Brandy updated in February. In October 2004, google launched Google Scholar for academic publications of its search service. In December, google brought user experience change in Google suggest which was introduced as a google labs feature.

2005 – To pretend link spam, google, yahoo and Microsoft collectively introduced the Nofollow attribute in January 2005. This year, Google announced their Allegra (February), Bourbon (May), Jagger (September), Big Daddy (December) update. In June 2005, Google launched its mobile web search application.

2006 – In May 2006, google released Google Trends to make it easy to visualize the popularity of searches over time.

2007 – Google brought a major milestone in the user experience as it launched Universal search, integrating traditional search results with results from google news, google image search, Google video search, and other stations. Also released a Buffy update in June 2007.

2008 – Search algorithm update Dewey in March and in August google suggested launched as a labs feature.

2009 – caffeine (August) and Vinci (February) update took part, also google introduced social search as a google lab feature and real-time search for real-time Twitter feeds, google news, and other freshly indexed content.

2010 – In 2010, google released three search algorithm updates, which are May Day (May). Later it updated the system twice in December. In September 2010, google launched google instant which is designed to provide related search topics and instantly show results for the prediction.  Google also launched instant preview which was a feature where users can view previews of the rank pages by hovering over the links in the SERP.

2011 – In 2011, google came up with a search algorithm update named Panda and brought panda 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, and similarly to 3.0 to replete the update.

2012 – Lots of data refreshes of pandas took place in 2012.

2013 – Google adds a new feature called in-depth articles in its search results to feature long-form content of long-lasting value. Google rolled out its Panda update by releasing panda#25 and confirmed that it wouldn’t be continuous. In May 2013, Google rolled out a new version of the search algorithm named penguin and also hummingbird August.

2014 – In march 16 2014, Google brought its Pay Day Loans algorithm update to better target spammy websites and queries, and on May 20, Panda 4.0 was implemented to devalue sites that contained poor quality content. Also, this year, Google rolled out the Pigeon update, a significant change to Google panda, implementing the penguin 3.0 and Pirate 2.0 updates.

2015 – Google announced an update to Google Panda and introduced RankBrain which was a machine learning-based engine.

2016 – Amit Singhal who was the vice president of search at google for 15 years replaced by John Giannandra. Google announced it will count mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal from the year. In September 2016, Google announced a major Penguin update.

2017 – Google rolled out a penalty to punish aggressive interstitials and pop-ups that might cause damage to the mobile user experience. Google announced an update which was referred to as Fred on March 7 and later on December 12, it brought another new update called Maccabees update.

2018 – Google brought a lot of big and small updates to its search algorithm.

This was everything about google from the year it was launched to 2018. We acknowledge googling significantly rolled out updates when needed to keep things balanced between the robot and the human. In this way, Google also regulated its user experience and we used the most updated form of it without any trouble.

Now let’s continue to the journey of search engine history where we are,

Direct Hit – 1998


Direct Hit was a search engine founded in April 1998 by Gary Culliss and Mike Cassidy. It was brought by Direct Hit Technologies which was a Boston-based search engine and used to provide search engine services at directhit.com.

Direct Hit was way smarter with its systems that are used to conserve users in using the search engine. The result is provided through the search query, it gathered them both from its own and partner site along.

It also counted in which search results users are interacting more which means it regulated whether the user goes to its own site or its partner when they have presented their search result. Besides, direct hits estimated how long a user has been spending on a particular website.

However, in January 2000, a direct hit was claimed by Jeeves.

AlltheWeb – 1999


 AlltheWeb was a search engine that entered the scene in mid-1999. The search engine was developed by the FAST company which used to supply search technology to many international corporations.

When AllTheWeb started in 1999, its developer team FAST aimed to provide its database to other search engines, major portals, ISPs, and content sites. By August 2, 1999, the AllTheWeb database had grown to 200 million unique URLs. By June 2002, their crawler had indexed over 2 billion pages.

There are so many new search options included in AllTheWeb at that time by its developer team. They are searches for news, images, FTP, and multimedia files such as video and mp3. Though Alltheweb claimed a few advantages over google like a fresher database, advanced search features, search clustering, and customizable look, it can’t dominate Google in the search market.

Alltheweb was claimed by overture when it was bought the FAST search engine for $100m in February 2003. After then, the overture was acquired by yahoo and AllTheWeb went completely to the Yahoo database. Finally, on April 4, 2011, AllTheWeb was shut down by yahoo.

Baidu – 2000


At present, the name Baidu is not as uncommon as it is one of the largest websites according to some search engine optimization tools. Meanwhile, Baidu is a Chinese multinational technology company, headquartered in Beijing.

Baidu grew to provide search-related services and was founded by Robin Li in 2000. In 2001, Baidu allowed advertisers to bid for ad space and then pay Baidu every time a customer clicked on an ad, predating Google’s approach to advertising.

In 2003, Baidu launched a news search engine and picture search engine, adopting a special identification technology capable of identifying and grouping articles.

TEOMA – 2000


Search engine TEOMA was officially launched in April 2000 by professor Apostol’s Gerasoulis along with his team of computer scientists. The goal behind building this engine was to create a web in terms of subject-specific communities.

However, TEOMA has got the benefit of being a late invented search engine in the search engine competition that helped it to check what other search engines did right or wrong.

Teoma came with several search technologies such as subject-specific popularity. On January 21, 2003, Teoma 2.0 was released with improved relevancy, more accurate communities, spell checking dynamic descriptions and so many advanced options when the system was under ask Jeeves.

In 2002, Teoma announced that it has implemented the search technology for Teoma in Ask Jeeves, an acquisition of Teoma for more than $1.5 million on 18 September 2001.

WiseNut – 2001


On September 5, 2001, WiseNut was a crawler-based search engine. The search engine was built upon a technology called WiseGuide which is able to automatically clustered search results.

Though the opening of WiseNut was way better than others as it was referred to as google killer but due to some reasons, it has never been able to become a major search engine. The reason is it lacked Boolean search in the standard search and other advanced search features.

On March 12, 2002, WiseNut was acquired by LookSmart for $9.25 million and the program completely shut down in late September 2007.

In 2001, there are some major search engine transaction happened such as,

  • The bankruptcy of Excite leads Infospace to purchase it for 10 million dollars
  • Ask Jeeves buys TEOMA to replace Direct Hit

Yahoo Reborn – 2002

Yahoo! Starts working on their search engine again. It is now quite clear to all of us that, before Google and other search engines, there was Yahoo. It was exclusive because of the directory system that made it distinct from its competitors.

If there were no human powered matches, crawler-based results from its partners only kicked in. unquestionably, yahoo was the smartest web search engine at that time until the Google crawler-based result came.

In 2002, yahoo bought Inktomi and then overture in 2003 which has already bought AlltheWeb and AltaVista.

To compete with its current competitor that was absolutely google, yahoo started using its own web crawler Yahoo Slurp to power up Yahoo search. Until then, yahoo had been using Google to power its search.

However, the yahoo directory still existed and is abused by the company but today yahoo is a much stronger thing than it was all the years ago.


In 2003, there were some major search engine business deals done. Among them, the most significant is, overture made their mind to purchase AltaVista for $80 million in stock and it also bought AlltheWeb for $70 million.

In the meantime, Yahoo bought Inktomi for $235 million and later it took over for about $1.63 billion. LookSmart lost more than 65% of their annual revenue when they were tossed by Microsoft.

Also, in 2003, Google announced its first official search engine algorithm update named Boston. Google acquired blogger.com and launched AdSense to serve ads on publisher sites which was simply the revolution of blogging and advertising.


In 2004, Google Suggest was launched as a Google lab feature. Sogou was a Chinese search engine that can search text, images, music and maps that was launched on 4 August 2004.

Google thinking of the search results, making it user compatible according to users’ interest and location. That means the search result will be variable for the same search query.

Also, in 2004, yahoo search started as a web directory of other websites, organized in a hierarchy, as opposed to a searchable index of pages.

GoodSearch – 2005


GoodSearch is a search engine launched in 2005 with the determination of donating 50% of its revenue to listed American charities and schools designated by its user. It is a yahoo powered search engine as it also comes as an identical face to yahoo.

Whenever any user clicks on the ads placed on the search engines right, top and bottom of the screen, 50% of the revenue goes to charities and also about a penny per search. The donated money comes from advertising companies on the website.

However, the search engine includes a button of ‘Amount Raised’ through which one can control and raise up the money for the designated charity.

On the system provided by GoodSearch, 22000 nonprofits and schools were generating revenue from the site and more than 100 charities and schools are registering daily.

SearchMe – 2005


SearchMe was a visual search engine founded in March 2005 in Mountain View, California. The search engine was developed by Randy Adams and John Holland. The vision behind creating the search engine was obtained from Adams’ five years old son. When Adam saw that his son was having difficulty reading, he aimed to create a search engine that would help to improve the experience of finding information online.

SearchMe organizes search results as snapshots of web pages and returns categories that are related to the topic. The interface was similar to the system of iPhone and iTunes album selection. Also, it has Facebook and Twitter linked so that users can share the information directly into social media. Later it founded WikiSeek to index Wikipedia pages and sites that were linked in Wikipedia articles.

But the journey of SearchMe has been stopped due to some financial and systematic problems. SearchMe has been criticized for not providing the number of search results, causing users to not know whether they are perusing through 10 results or 1000 results.

Besides, some of the SearchMe screenshots are difficult to read, causing users to decide whether a site is relevant based on its appearance.

The company had 1.8 million visitors in March, 2009 but in May of the same year, the number of visitors decreased to 600000 and on July 24, 2009, Search Me was permanently going offline.

Snap Search engine – 2005


Snap Search engine developed by Bill Gross was absolutely a familiar face in the history of the search engine as he was behind Picasa and Overture. As the name of the search engine, it used to provide users search results with a preview or snapshot. Not only that, it comes with other features such as displaying search volumes and other information and sophisticated auto-completion and related terms display.

Another technology came with the Snap search engine named Snap Raft. It worked for listing popular searches matching the search term that the user enters. It also followed the CPC and the CPA models of advertising.

However, the company failed to get traction and soon went out of business.

Powerset – An understanding search engine – 2005


Powerset was a search engine developed by an American company based in San Francisco, California. The company was developing a natural search engine for the internet that is focused on natural language processing.

Simply put, powerset was working on building a natural language search engine that could find targeted answers to users’ questions. For instance, when confronted with a question like “which U.S state has the highest income tax?”, a conventional search engine ignores the question phrasing and instead does a search on the keywords ‘state’, ‘highest’, ‘income’, and ‘tax’.

Powerset, on the other hand, attempts to explore the significance of a question and return pages containing a reply using natural language processing.

Conventional search engines don’t even understand the content and the words that the content is holding. They work through patterns and provide search results that seem similar to them in a pattern.

The company Powerset was in the process of “building a natural language search engine that reads and understands every sentence on the web.” The company has licensed natural language technology from PARC.

On May 11, 2008, the company unveiled a tool for searching a fixed subset of English Wikipedia using conversational phrases rather than keywords. And on July 1, 2008, powerset was acquired by Microsoft for an estimated $100 million.

Picollator – Image Search Engine – 2006

From the very beginning of the search engine history, researchers always tried to come out with a search engine that can clearly recognize images and can show similar results related to the image search.


Although, google as well as the other popular websites use indices in the texts to detect what is in an image very well they aren’t perfect and sometimes provide lazy results – particularly when there has been a small sample size.

Picollator is distinct in this regard as the search engine performs searches for websites and multimedia by visual query or text, or a combination of visual query and text. Picollator identifies image products, acquires their importance to the text, and conversely and searches for all information given.

The search engine was founded in 2006 by Samara, Russian Federation headquartered in London, U.K Russian Federation. A desktop application for photo collection executives was developed by Recogmission LLC for 2006. The company aimed to develop a novel indexing engine for multimedia information search based on the visual query. It also develops solutions for multimedia information indexing and searches on the web and in corporate environments. The system automatically classifies, manages and retrieves photographs stored locally or in a corporate database.

Most image search engines match user textual queries and picture tags. Picollator is based on a different approach. It stores images or objects in its database and stores them. It is even able to understand who is in the photo and compare it to other photos and find similar ones.

However, to search for multimedia information users have to submit,

  • Sample images to find images with relevant people
  • Image to find web resources
  • Text to find images
  • Text to find web resources
  • Text and image to find images and web resources

Picollator currently recognizes facial expressions on pictures and constructs a database of faces. You can easily browse websites that contain pictures, pictures of the receiver, lookalikes and the same picture on the internet.

Wikia Search – 2006


Search Wikia was a free and open-source search engine that was launched by Wikia on December 23, 2006. The company Wikia founded by Jimmy Wales who is the co-founder of present Wikipedia.

Wikia had come with some major search engine features, they are,

  • Web search engine
  • Social network service
  • Wiki that hosts so called mini-articles

Viewzi – 2006

Viewzi is a visual search engine that is founded by the privately held company Viewzi based in Dallas, Texas. The search engine was designed to reduce the effort of people finding their needed information in the largest database of the search engine.


The search engine developed to provide a highly-visual search experience that tailored the way users looked at information based on what they are looking for. It manages search results of the required query and displays them in some different viewpoints. They are,

  • Web screenshot: results structured in a filter format with the choice of movement, therefore, you can see which web pages are related to which subject whenever you have shown any results from the search
  • Simple text: in this view, the search engine shows a serial list of search results that are gathered from Yahoo and Google
  • Power Grid: results are organized in a variety of panels and there is also an option to easily switch between them
  • Photo view: it displays image search results in several rows
  • Video x3: viewzi has the option to search for videos particularly. Whenever users search for videos, it shows results from popular video sites. Videos are used to play first forward as a glimpse that users can get this is exactly what they want or not. in view, if you mouseover on an individual video clip, it will show you the full title of the video
  • Resources: it used to display four sources of resources always, they are, Google, Yahoo, Ask, MSN. However, you can remove any of them you don’t want to see displayed. When you mouse over any of them, it will give you a larger view of the source
  • Amazon: for books and book reviews
  • Shopping: in this section of viewzi, you can find up to date shopping information’s, products, fashions, styles from Amazon, eBay, Target and Walmart
  • MP3: here you can find songs, play songs that are free and also can purchase paid songs
  • Celebrity photo view: the function not just provides photos of celebrities, rather it is more than that. this is the term for the show of results which looks like a photo album or scrapbook and also features a slick drag and drop feature

Wikiseek – 2007

Wikiseek was a search engine that launched with two major goals that are, indexing pages that are one in Wikipedia and also indexing those pages linked to Wikipedia articles. So, the theme behind wiki seek was simple, that it only provides content referred to within Wikipedia itself. The search engine was established and launched officially on 17 January 2007 by Palo Alto.


Wikiseek content was limited to only certain Wikipedia pages within Wikipedia which make it a credible resource of less spam and SEO specific details.

Sequoia officially financed much of the funding to build up the search engine and besides, it used to show google ads on its search returns to generate profit.

The characteristics of wiki seek were way much better than other Wikipedia leveraging search engines. When users search anything into wiki seek, it shows a mix of Wikipedia and other web content. As a consequence, to simplify the overall process for users, it used to include a cloud tag over contents collected from Wikipedia and every time the first three results of any search query was always from Wikipedia.

Wikiseek has a plugin for Firefox, IE7, and opera. However, the search engine was undoubtedly causing confusion with the much-discussed Wikia search engine that had been announced the month previous to wiki seeks to launch.

Guruji – The First Indian Search engine

Guruji is the first Indian search engine founded by two Indian institutes of technology. Anurag Dod and Gaurav Mishra have co-founded the search engine with a seed fund of $7 million.


“Our search engine is a technology solution to address the growing search needs of the Indian citizens. Using crawl technology, we focus on providing search products for enhancing the Indian user experience. It has built on a distributed architecture that can scale with the growing needs of the users, our complex computing system crawls the web to identify Indian content, indexes the data, and provides a simple keyword-based interface to access the information instantly” said the CEO of guruji to reporters at a preview of the search engine.

So, the search engine focused on providing better search results to Indian consumers, by leveraging proprietary algorithms and data in the Indian context.

Sproose – 2007


Sproose was a consumer social search engine founded by Bob Pack in August 2007. It showed search results from its partners including MSN, Yahoo and Ask. It was a fair search engine with more than 325 million search results that used to display in a fully recognizable format.

Although the search engine has an exceptional function that includes a few icons at the bottom of each search result it has been shown. Through the function, registered users were allowed to insert tags, construct threads on various sites and also encourage them to set their own bookmarks.

Not only these, but the users of sproose search engines can also vote for their favourite websites and exclude other sites that they don’t like from the search results. Because of this availability, Sproose intended to have better quality results than algorithmic search engines as its users were able to influence the ranking order of the search results voting and removing bad or spam outcomes from websites.

Blackle – Energy-saving search – 2007


Blackle is a search engine launched in January 2007 and the search engine developed by google custom search. As its name focused, it is literally a search engine with black background and grey–white colour for fonts and texts. Blackle is based on a study that tested a variety of CRT and LCD monitors.

The motive behind Blackle is to save energy as computer monitors with a black screen can be made to use less energy by displaying much darker colours. Saving energy got so much priority at that time and it is posted on a blog with the title ‘Black Google would save 750 Megawatt-hours a year.’ This blogpost helped to bring the concept into the limelight, during that time, people have known about Blackle highly.

“Image displayed is primarily a function of the users colour settings and desktop graphics, as well as the colour and size of open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white or light screen than a black or dark screen.” – Roberson et al 2002.

Then it gained popularity and was featured in multiple mainstream media outlets. However, Blackle claims to have saved over 8.5 MWh of electrical energy as of January 2021.

Cuil – 2008


Cuil (pronounced Kool) was a search engine launched on July 28, 2008. The search engine was managed and developed by the ex-employees of google, Anna Patterson and Russel Power. The name was taken from Celtic folklore stories that involve a character named Fionn mac Cumhaill. The company says that the word Cuil stands Irish for knowledge and hazel.

Cuil ordered material webpages and showed lengthy articles along with images for many results.  It allowed users to direct log in to their Facebook account and a user could also send messages to his friends through Cuil.

Cuil has created a programmed encyclopedia that was called Cpedia. Cpedia was designed by qualitative data and grouping ideas on the web algorithmically.

Cuil used to provide Cpedia information that fit the search terms rather than search results. This was intended by integrating details in one document to eliminate duplication.

On December 19, 2008, Cuil listed as one of the most successful U.S startups according to the money they have raised through the search engine and in February 2009, Cuil indexed 127 billion pages in its database successfully which is arguably more than any other search engine at that period.

However, Cuil was criticized due to some major systematic problems that led it to shut down on September 17, 2010.

DuckDuckGo – 2008


DuckDuckGo is also known as DDG is an internet search engine designed to maintain the privacy of the search engine and prevent a filter bubble of custom search results. The search engine was launched on February 29, 2008, in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

The search engine was developed by Gabriel Weinberg who previously founded a social network database named ‘Names Database’.

The name was taken from the kid’s game duck duck goose. The founder of the search engine said about its naming issue that, “Really it just popped in my head one day and I just killed it. It is certainly influenced/derived from duck duck goose but other than that there is no relation.”

DuckDuckGo shows results in a mix of over 400 data sources. It is the primary search engine that does not record IP addresses and does not log user details. But it only uses cookies where necessary. The founder of the search engine ensured this issue by saying, “By default, DuckDuckGo doesn’t collect or share personal information. That is our privacy policy in a nutshell.”

Here are some of the features of the search engine below,

  • Instant Answers: it is also called zero-click info, the main purpose behind the feature is to provide the users on the search result page themselves so that they don’t have to click on the results to find them. There are four types of instant answers you can get which are differentiated by their data. They are, Goodies, Spices, Fatheads and Longtails
  • Tor access
  • Voice search
  • Bangs
  • Business model
  • Source code

DuckDuck still remains on its track with a competitive form on other search engines. In January 2019, it set a record of 1 billion monthly searches and in January 2021, it achieved a record of over 102.2 million searches in a day.

LeapFish – 2008


Leapfish was a search engine founded on November 3. 2008. It is used to obtain search results from other portals including google, Bing, yahoo, and even blogs and videos.

The domain name of LeapFish.com was appraised by a domain name service Dotnext Inc. the headquarter of the company was based in Pleasanton. They have added several search engine features like,

  • Real-time search
  • Metasearch: as previously said, LeapFish found its observation from other portals and grouped them on a single page
  • Customizable home page: similar to iGoogle, LeapFish offered a customizable homepage to its users
  • Share bar: share bar placed at the bottom of the search engine and allowed users to see pages that linked outgoing
  • Profile pages to display social media activities
  • Also offered affiliate applications for website owners

LeapFish has stopped its journey and has been selling its domain name on February 12, 2012. It is marked as an F category due to receiving 20 separate complaints by the better business bureau.

Forestle – 2008


Forestle was an ecologically inspired search engine that had supported rainforest conservation through donations of ad revenue and also aimed to reduce CO2 emissions. The search engine was founded in 2008 and managed by Christian Kroll in Wittenberg.

Forestle protected 0.1 square meters of rain forest per search. It has ensured that it would donate 90% of its advertising revenue to adopt an acre program of its partner organization the nature conservancy.

Approximately 2910000 square meters of rain forest were saved by December 9, 2009, and in November 2010, the number increased to 9250000 square meters by the donation of Forestle and with the support of the nature conservancy.

Forestle was awarded by Utopia in November 2009 as an exceptional institution allowing us to live longer in sustainability. The jury stresses that “Forestle provides an easy and powerful opportunity to contribute to the conservation of existing rainforests through regular utilization. Thereby Forestle unfolds high effectiveness and sharpness the consumer’s sense for the impact of consumer behavior.”

However, the search engine associated with google for four days, and then google removed the search feature of the site due to disagreements over the failure of its terms of service. And on January 1, 2011, it was discontinued and redirected to a similar search engine named Ecosia.

VADLO – Life Science Search Engine – 2008


VADLO is a search engine based on biological issues and it has grown so much since it was launched. VADLO offers assistance to all life sciences sectors including molecular biology, cell biology, structural biology, evolutionary biology, genetics, genomics, proteomics, botany, zoology, biophysics, biotechnology, and biomedical research.

VADLO is an independent search engine that is not associated with google, yahoo, or Bing, and the search engine is still active.

Bing – 2009


Big is a search engine that is owned and operated by Microsoft. Actually, Bing was a replacement for Microsoft’s live search and the idea was managed by the CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer. The search engine was developed using ASP.NET and launched on June 3, 2009.

Microsoft and yahoo announce that they have made a ten year deal in which the yahoo search engine would be replaced by Bing. Yahoo will get to keep 88% of the revenue from all search ad sales on its site for the first five years of the deal and also have the right to sell adverts on some Microsoft sites.

As you can see now yahoo search is maintaining its own interface but eventually featuring ‘Powered by Bing’ branding. All yahoo search global customers and partners are expected to be transitioned by early 2012.

Besides bing provides additional searching for web pages, it also offers services like,

  • Pay per click advertising
  • Bing dictionary
  • Bing events to search for any upcoming events
  • Bing finance encourages users to find share market exchanges and provides data, business profile and stats, financial reports, stock reviews, and also company related news
  • Bing health
  • Bing images
  • Bing local enlisted local business details, reviews
  • Bing maps
  • Bing news
  • Bing recipe
  • And so many features slightly similar as google

Now, bing is the second largest search engine and one of the 50 most visited sites on the internet according to the Alexa rank information.

Sperse – Meta Search engine – 2008


Sperse was the most comprehensive Metasearch engine launched on December 20, 2008. The motive behind the search engine was providing found search information so that users could find them conveniently.

When any users input a search query to it, sperse searches several search engines for replications and returns users with more complete, appropriate, and quick results.

Sperse was the search engine that was more intended to provide its users with what they need. Sperse has the best search option available to its users, some of which can include photos, music, video, news, local listings, jobs, yahoo replies, and many more.

Sperse CEO and founder Shiv Kapoor said, “The growing complexity and variety of the internet has naturally fragmented data accessibility online. Today’s users are driven to utilize more than one online destination to find the data they seek.”

To support his voice, sperse chief operation officer and CO-founder Amar Chugg said, “We genuinely view the sperse search solution as an innovative search solution that will ease your tasks of daily searching. Search engines have become an integral part of our daily internet and web activities and sperse is extremely pleased to provide its community with a powerful, flexible, feature rich search solution.”

The search engine development has become slow due to the lack of investment and the founders of the search engine still hoping to expand it if everything is managed properly.

Yebol – Semantic search engine – 2009


Yebol was a knowledge based, semantic search engine created by Hongfeng Yin in San Jose, California. The search engine was created to provide better results using better search technology.

The new search engine format that brought Yebol was able to utilize a combination of algorithms combined with human knowledge for every search term used for the development of a web directory.

The technology automatically clustered and categorized search results and websites, pages, and contents that presents a visually indexed format that is more aligned with initial human intent. One of Yebol’s objectives was to create a special homepage look for every search term.

In its multiplayer witness and data recovery algorithms, Yebol also implemented named human knowledge. There a lot of advantages come with the technology such as best first search and higher – summary of top sites and categories for queries, wider related search term: longer results of expansion terms for the queries, deeper – inside links and keywords of search results pages.

Yebol also integrates natural language processing, meta-synthetic engineered open complex systems, and machine algorithms. Instead of being a multi-page search result format based on selection, Yebol provided a categorized structure of results on one screen, aimed at creating a homepage for any given topic, which is attuned to an advanced hybrid version of Bayesian search theory and collaboration graph theory.

Hongfeng Yin, founder, and president of Yebol said, “In order to win users’ trust, we knew our format had to apply to all possible search terms. Google’s search success was in no small measure owing to the uniform results – users understand what each search will be. Yebol is now equally as reliable but offers far richer results return versus Google indexed approach. Yebol provides more comprehensive and more accurate results. As the search engine geared to generate knowledge base results not only for all current search topics as they develop in the future.”

The domain of the search engine expired in March 2011 that was renewed further a few days later of the expiration. But its current status is down.

Goby – 2009

Goby is a search engine that launched in September 2009. The website searches picked databases and other web sources for 400 classifications of things can do while traveling. So, it was created to find all the possible activities in the city where the users live and it let them know about those activities.

Users can find out their favorite activities exceptionally. Besides finding activities, Goby also searches things like hotels, a place for spending your vacations that makes it a nice choice for either would be a traveler on a budget or anyone looking to spend time in a decent location.

Despite some issues that caused it faced criticism like scraping a lot of different services and also duplicating events that are already listed, it was almost better as a search engine to find make your weekend beautiful by doing what you like the most.

Blekko – 2010


Search engine Blekko launched on November 1, 2010, to familiarize the slash tag idea to provide results for common searches. The prime goal behind the search engine was, provide better search results than those offered by Google and also to provide useful search results without the extraneous links often provided by Google.

Blekko was based on an entirely different search engine model than google or its rivals. In addition to that, Blekko used human curators, publishers, and experts to pick and choose websites among the billions of results that exist in its database.

Blekko search engine used slash tag technology that was similar to present Twitter. At the time it was launched, thousands of slash tags have been created and it allowed users to create their own slash tags in order to curate results which are important. Blekko has three kinds of slash tags, they are,

  • Topical slash tags that were created by Blekko and often curated by experts. These slash tags were available to everyone to click and explore. Topical slash tags are mainly used for specific topics like recipes, health, media, technology, and so on
  • User slash tags are only available when a user is registered in Blekko. It is also known as personalizing slash tags and can use to mark authoritative sites that one trusts
  • Built-in slash tags only use for specific functions such as date/ news/ blogs by the developer team of Blekko

In its launch date, Blekko’s 8000 beta editors had developed 3000 slash tags corresponding to the site’s most frequent searches. The company hoped to use editors to develop prepared lists of the 50 sites that best match its 100000 most frequent search targets.

By providing richer data than its rival, Blekko presented itself as distinguished from others. It also appeared to have developed a web search bill of rights that legitimately describes what their perspectives are actually,

  • The search shall be open
  • Search results shall involve people
  • Ranking data shall not be kept secret
  • Web data shall be readily available
  • There is no one size fits for all search
  • The advanced search shall be accessible
  • Search engine tools shall be open to all
  • Search and community go hand in hand
  • Spam doesn’t belong in search results
  • Privacy of searchers shall not be violated

Whatever, Blekko was acquired by IBM in March 2015, and the service was discontinued since then.

Exalead – 2011


Exalead is a software development company based in Paris, France. The company was founded in 1999 to provide search platforms and search-based applications services to consumers.

The company continued with its enterprise search technology that was a cloud view product of the company. It combines web scale semantic technologies, rapid drag and drops application development, and hybrid quantitative and qualitative analytics to deliver a consumer style information experience to mission critical business processes.

The cloud view product is also the platform for the public web search engine, which was designed to apply semantic processing and faceted navigation to web data volumes and usage. Exalead also runs an on-line research and development research lab, Exalabs, which uses the Web to develop business management innovations.

Exalead includes many advanced search features such as

  • Unique web index
  • Phonetic search
  • Word stemming
  • Auto word stemming
  • Exact search
  • Approximate spelling

Exalead was acquired by Dassault Systemes for 135 million Euros in June 2010.

Qwant – 2013


Search engine qwant entered the search market in July 2013. It is a French search engine operated from Paris. It used to have its own indexing engine that is one among a few EU based search engines.

Search engines Qwant value users’ data protection as well as their private life. The developer team of the search engine claimed that they don’t make it to track user’s personal information or personalize search results to avoid trapping users in a filter bubble.

Besides Qwant offers protections following the new general data protection regulation. Its privacy policy states that “as a principle, Qwant doesn’t collect data about its users when they search.”

The website also states, “regarding the French law of intelligence passed on 24 June 2015, we found that the recommendations of the CNIL had gained very little currency: as a search engine, we emphatically do not endorse the measure adopted, especially as they are particularly intrusive from the point of view of individual privacy. Accordingly, we will make every effort to ensure the protection of our user’s personal data.” That clears the search engine don’t use any cookie or other tracking technology like google.

However, the search engine proceeds more than ten million search requests per day and more than 50 million individual users a month worldwide. It is confirmed by the authority that, during the period of Qwants’s development, it used to be managed by the Bing search.

Thinking of those who don’t have powerful or high configuration computers and run with old browsers, Qwant released a lighter and faster version named Qwant Light that is built more user friendly for them. It also comes with some integrated features such as video playback and JavaScript were removed and the on-site content was streamlined.

Since January 2021, Qwant is the 105th most visited website in France and the 1458th most visited website in the world.

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So, in this long journey in the history of a search engine, we see a lot of search engines come to compete with others and to take the crown of being the most used search engine. Some of them were strong enough in both financial and structural equations that they can hardly stack to their place and existing all over the world.

On the other hand, those who can’t go with the flow are washed away from the scene and never come back.

Another issue that we have got from history is that, the search engine was not just a tool to climb over the internet, it was also a matter of business. It is because there are so many incidents we have seen above regarding this issue.

What the journey is still running with its pace and power and will be running in the future. No matter what happens, there will be a search engine to make our internet journey easier and to find us anything we want from the biggest database on the internet.

According to the present search engine scenery, it can be said frankly that Google is the sovereign of all search engines active there. Statistics dates back to January 2021, whereas Google made up almost 85.86 percent of Bing’s online search engine represented 6.84 percent of the world search market.

The global search engine share market has become relatively poor for all the search engines due to the expansive extension of the google search engine. The search engine industry is being dominated by Google and their high search engine technology makes it effective for users all over the world.

Do you know how google manages as much revenue to run an industry like it? Yes, it is advertising, since google is at the top of the search engine list and it is highly demanding all over the world. People are making online advertising, marketing, competing with each other just for showing their name on the first page of google with their website.

In this regard, they have to deal with search engine marketing to make business familiar to the people.

Frequently asked questions about the history of search engine

However, the history of the search engines is not a short and succinct one that you can cover up within a few minutes. We have tried to include all the significant incidents that were held from the time the first search engine launched to the recent period of time.

To make it easy for our visitors, we include some of the questions that common people asked often about search engine history and also about the search algorithm. So, take a look if you think there is something you should have known before,

When was the first search engine launched?

Considerably, there are some confusions when it comes to the question of the first-ever search engine launched. If you search about this on the browser, it will show you different websites regarding different names as the first search engine.

Some say, Ali Web was the first engine and it is widely considered by consultants. But Ali web launched in 1993 when Archie released it in 1990.

So, why do they call Ali Web the first search engine instead of Archie? It is because Archie was launched as the program that was only able to find files on the FTP server. There was no function to find information as you want or any other availability, it was just a tool for indexing and searching FTP files.

However, there is a little gap we see between the invention of Archie and Ali Web. Since Archie was founded in 1990 and Ali web in 1994, within this period, there were some other names of the search engine we found such as veronica, Jughead, W3 catalog, excite, jump station, info seek, EINET galaxy.

How does the search engine work?

In the world of the internet, search engines, and browsers, we can’t think our day without any of them. They are regulating all of the human activities and we find every single solution in it. No matter what we need or what we are looking for, we just type on the search bar of the search engine and it does the rest for us.

So, using the search engines every single day, ever think about how the system works? Due to the wide expanse of social media, nothing remains hidden nowadays. So, you may have content relating to the same.

But we bring here the details about the functionality of search engines, how they work. How it provides a rank to specific content among the thousands of contents of the same topic.

Though there is no way to get the hidden functionalities of google that works behind SERP and ranking issues. But to have a better view of search engines and their functionality, you must have some important things.

In this regard, the search engine works through three major functionalities, they are,

  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Ranking


Crawling comes first when we are particularly talking about the working function of search engines. It is the process used by search engines to find up new content to index its database. It also counts updates of existing content.

Crawling is done with a web crawler that is simply a robot that works automatically to discover anything new inside the World Wide Web. A web crawler also called spiders, robots, and simply bots.

Search engines use crawling or spidering software to make it easy for them. There is no magical way that a search engine can recognize what is happening on a website. A website simply publishes new content every single day. And no matter what, search engine define them and give a suitable rank based on the quality of the content.

There are different types of web crawling software which are used for different purposes, the following is a list of common web crawling software used for different search platforms.

  • Bingbot – bing web crawler
  • Googlebot – Google web crawler software
  • World wide web worm was also a crawling software about that we have already discussed
  • Baiduspider is the crawler of popular Chinese search engine Baidu


We found whatever we want just by typing the search query on the search bar of the search engine. What was the experience before the search engine invented when people had to find specific pieces of information about any issue?

Well, that was boring and uncomfortable. As we are now getting everything within a few seconds with the help of a search engine, it is really something exaggerated compared to the previous experience.

Do you ever feel like how quickly Google manages the information it provides us? Of course, the information was stored previously and then shown when any searchers asked for the information using the same term.

That’s it, there are new webpages found every single day and search engines have to manage them for what they are offering.

Search engine indexing simply defines the process that we are talking about. It is a process of collecting and storing data. When indexing content, the search engines can recognize the topic of the content.

Indexing made all the processes easier for both users and search engines. The main purpose behind it to optimize speed and performance in finding related data or information of a search query.

There are some major factors that control the indexing of search engines. They are,

  • Merge factor
  • Storage factor
  • Index size
  • Lookup speed
  • Maintenance
  • Fault tolerance


A third of the procedures of a search engine is ranking. The ranking is what search engines usually pay attention to most. So what is search engine ranking?

Every time you search on your browsers with a specific search query, it results in a list of information or data related to the term you have entered. Here the twist is, the list that search engines show you, the ordering system that gives those web contents a particular position, it’s called the ranking factor of search engines.

There are some factors that work behind search engine ranking. Search engine optimization (SEO) experts relentlessly research those factors to find out the way of ranking in the first position on the search engine result page (SERP).

However, those hidden ranking factors almost make it complex and competitive enough and you find every website owner running with strategies to rank on the search engine on the first page. They do all the possible things in this regard with the help of SEO experts although.

Why is the Google search engine so successful?

There are a lot of search engines available in the present search engine market. They all are different in such aspects and propositions. Some of them value user’s privacy more while others are different in this regard.

But do you ever think to choose a search engine according to your need? Never, we don’t even think about that though there are a lot of search engines to choose from. But we do google whenever we need any information without thinking about any other search engine.

So, why is google so popular? What makes google distinct from other search engines and also users relentlessly choose it over them? Here we try to find a passable answer to the question below,

  • Google is unique in its system that it uses to provide search results to the users. Literally, Google is way faster than other search engines in this regard and it is able to deliver millions of results in 0.19 of a second
  • Google’s crawling and indexing is more upgraded than others, it makes search algorithms update at certain times to keep a balance between user and engine. This is why google always comes with the latest news and updates no matter wherever you are. Google always prioritizes the user’s intention, what they want to get. This understanding ability of google always keeps it upfront to find content for users satisfaction

How many types of search engines are there?

You will be surprised to know that there are differences among search engines based on their functionality. They are,

  • Crawler based search engines
  • Directory search engines powered by human
  • Hybrid search engines
  • Metasearch engine

Crawler based search engine

Search engines that use a spider, bot, or crawler to gather new content and index them in their database are known as crawler-based search engines. In such search engines, crawlers play the most important role to find out new content and also count those which have been updated.

Crawler based search engines have some advantages like it is easy to use, able to count a huge amount of pages, smart to compare keyword relevancy. Some of the popular crawler-based search engines are,

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Baidu
  • Yandex


Directories are human powered search engines and it is controlled by the staff which is working behind the scene. This open directory system runs through a human that means all the activities of this search engine depend on human processing.

In directory search engines, when a new web page submits, it will be reviewed and approved by the staff. The site owners have to put a short description of the site mentioning the category where it needs to be listed. Whenever a search term is applied to find pieces of information, it tries to find contents matching with webpages’ short descriptions.

Hybrid search engine

This type of search engine uses both the crawler and manual indexing function. So, these are a kinda mix of crawler and directories.

Metasearch engine

Metasearch engines crawl over several search engines for the relevant data and show users a result combining all of them. Dogpile and clusty are examples of the Metasearch engines.

What are the top 10 search engines?

Here is the list of the top 10 search engine according to popularity,

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Baidu
  • Yandex
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Ask.com
  • Ecosia
  • Aol.com
  • Internet archive

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