Why search with one search engine when you can search with them all –
or at least several? That was the question tackled by a number of researchers
following a PC Computing magazine challenge which reviewed search engines and
found out that different search engines produced different results because of
the different algorithms on which each was based.
Daniel Dreilinger at Colorado State University provided his answer with SearchSavvy
which let users search up to 20 different search engines at one and a number of
directories, such as Four-11 (e-mail address) directories, FTPSearch95 for Internet
files and DejaNews, a web-based database of UseNet newsgroup postings. SearchSavvy
was restricted to simple searches and while fast, was not overly reliable.
About the same time Dreilinger’s SearchSavvy appeared, University of
Washington student Eric Selberg and his advisor Oren Etzioni revealed Selberg’s
master’s degree project called MetaCrawler.
MetaCrawler improved on SearchSavvy’s accuracy with the addition of its
own search syntax and behind the scenes, matching its syntax to that of the search
engines it was probing. MetaCrawler searched through six search engines, yet while
providing better results, still could not match those achieved by searching each
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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