The Internet’s first search engine appeared in 1989
and was invented by Alan Emtage, a computer science student from Barbados studying
at McGill University. Emtage dubbed his invention Archie, a contraction
of the word “archives” to fit the shortened naming conventions of
the UNIX operating system.
Archie was designed to provide an online index of public FTP (file transfer
protocol) sites, the Internet information repositories that existed before the
Web and home pages. Before Archie, the only way people could find out the existence
of an FTP server was by word of mouth or to be sent an e-mail telling them where
to find the information.
By 1992, Archie had catalogued over 200 public FTP sites. It is a figure that
seems almost laughable by today’s standards, but a decade ago, was already
beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. At its peak in 1995, 30 Archie engines crawled
the Internet and had catalogued millions of pages.
While FTP continues to be a common way to share files over the Internet, Archie
is no longer used.
Here is a growing archive of the search engine history:
– Microsoft redux
- 2001 – Goodbye GoTo, hello
- 2000 – Some Web expertise
- 1999 – A winning
- 1999 – Now that’s fast!
- 1998 – Its a hit! DirectHit
- 1998 –
And in the other corner... MSN
- 1998 – And
in this corner… Google
– The Open (source) Directory Project
- 1997 –
Ask Jeeves, the butler did it
- 1997 – GoTo,
What do I bid?
- 1996 – LookSmart
– the Australian connection
- 1996 – HotBot,
one hot bot!
- 1995/96 –
The Northern Light
- 1995 – AltaVista
- 1995 –
- 1994-95 –
- 1994 – Lycos
- 1994 –
- 1994 – Yahoo!
- 1994 – A Galaxy
of web pages
- 1993 – The
birth of Excite
- The Web’s oldest existing search engine
- 1993 – The
first web robot
- 1993 - Archie’s
- Veronica, the grandmother of search engines
- Archie, the grandfather of all search engines
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