FTP enabled Internet users to locate and access files or more correctly, folders
of information located on FTP servers. Another protocol called Gopher
existed to handle plain-text documents and these were stored on so-called Gopher
servers. Gopher was created in 1991 by Mark McCahill and his team at the University
of Minnesota and was named after the university mascot, the Golden Gopher.
The popularity of Emtage’s Archie had grown considerably by 1993, prompting
Fred Barrie and Steven Foster at the University of Nevada System Computing Services
Group to develop Veronica to search for Gopher files. The group
dubbed Veronica - Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Netwide Index to Computerized Archives
– as “the grandmother of all search engines.”
At its peak usage, Veronica searched through a database of over 5,500 Gopher
servers and over 10 million Gopher “items” or documents whose titles
contain your keyword. Veronica would then set up a temporary Gopher server containing
the matches which you could browse. Veronica was much overloaded, often gave error
messages for a keyword search then provided results for the same keyword search
on a second or third try.
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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