The History of Search Engines

Search engines have come a long way since their early prototypes, as our Internet Search Engines History infographic illustrates.

From improvements in web crawlers and categorizing and indexing the web, to introducing new protocols such as robots.txt so that webmasters have control what web pages get crawled, to the introduction of voice search, the development of search engines has been the culmination of multiple search technologies that developed from different search engines.

Alta Vista was the first search engine to process natural language queries;

Lycos started strong with a system categorizing relevance signals, matching keywords with prefixes and word proximity; and

Ask Jeeves introduced the use of human editors to match actual user search queries.


A view of the world’s first website

The internet is now more than 25 years old – but it has aged so well that it actually looks better than it did all those years ago.

The British scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee launched the website on his NeXT computer, laying the groundwork for the connected society of the 21st century.

This page was little more than a dossier containing information about the software which powered the web, but it was arranged in a form which may be instantly familiar to many people.

He first conceived the idea in 1989, but put his thoughts into action the following year.

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