The web only became accessible to the public back in 1990; nevertheless, the first search engine arrived much later in 1993. Furthermore, before that, all sites were tracked manually and indexed by individuals before Google came in and took the throne as the undisputed king of web search engines in 1998.
However, the five years between 1993 and 1998 saw plenty of other search engines try their luck in achieving dominance as the most reliable search engine, but most of them failed horribly.
Therefore, discussed below are five search engines which came before Google.
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It was the first engine to offer full-text speech and was created by a Computer Science and Engineering student at the University of Washington, Brian Pinkerton during his free time.
Using WebCrawler, Brian on March 15, 1994, was able to produce a list of Top 25 websites, followed by the release of WebCrawler live on April 20, 1994, on the web 4000 sites present on its database.
Moreover, Brian would later on June 11, 1994 post to Usenet group comp. infosystems that WebCrawler was accessible for searching, and subsequently by November 14, 1984, it attended its one-millionth inquiry.
The continued success saw WebCrawler sign a deal with two sponsors, Starwave and DealerNet who offered to fund the company, and less than a year later, WebCrawler fully was operating on advertising revenue.
Born in 1993, Excite was a university project known as Architect, and it involved six Stanford undergraduate students who intended to use statistical analysis of word relationships to enhance the relevancy of internet searches.
Consequently, by the end of 1995, this school project ultimately led to the release of Excite commercially, and the company’s continued growth resulted in Excite purchasing both Magellan and WebCrawler in 1996.
However, Google’s entry to market saw traffic on this search engine significantly reduce hence its sale to broadband provider @Home.com as a part a merger of $6.7 billion.
Started in 1994 by Jerry Yang and David Filo, Yahoo was originally a highly held directory website directory which was cataloged by human editors.
Furthermore, this directory offered you an extensive listing of sites which was supported further by a network of regional directories, and in the year 2001, to get listed in Yahoo’s directory, the company began charging a fee.
Consequently, this actions by Yahoo assisted the company control several websites which helped it cover its costs with the extra revenue.
It was during the spring of 1995 that AltaVista, which means “a view from above” was developed after research was done by scientists at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) Western Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, California.
Initially, scientists developed AltaVista as they were trying to showcase their computer database systems known as the Alpha 8400 TurboLaser which was faster compared to its competitors.
Moreover, the scientists developed also developed a search tool to quickly crawl, store and index all the words of all HTML web pages available on the internet.
The created search tool was potent, for instance, in August 1995, the search tool brought back approximately ten million pages from the first full-scale crawl it conducted on the web.
Was purchased by Yahoo! in 2003, which retained the brand, but based all AltaVista searches on its own search engine.
5. Ask Jeeves
David Warthen and Garret Gruener developed Ask Jeeves in 1996 and launched in 1997. The name was “Jeeves” was removed as the company aimed at revamping its image after Barry Diller’s InterActive Corp (IAC) bought Ask Jeeves in 2005.
Initially, human editors in this company would list the renowned websites together with results and listings obtained from partner websites.
Nevertheless, after Ask Jeeves was acquired by Direct Hit in 2001 then later by Teoma in 2001, the company decided to start developing its search technology.
As the company’s growth continued, it acquired other firms, and this includes iWon as well as Excite.