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The Northern Light - 1995/1996
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Northern Light was to the search engine world what Apple was to the computer world. Shortly after its launch, Northern light like Apple, developed a fanatical following, but held a relatively small market share compared to the likes of Lycos and AltaVista.

Northern Light was created by David Seuss in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to sell custom search engine to corporations. However a free free, commercial search engine offering is what made Northern Light shine brightly among computer users ranging from academic researchers to information technology professionals. Its search methodology because it was more sophisticated than other search engines, organizing search results in specific folders labeled by subject.

Northern Light ran through $70 million in venture capital and financing before being bought by Chicago-based Internet conglomeration Divine Inc. for $16 million in 2002, which subsequently went bankrupt. Seuss bought Northern Light’s assets at a bankruptcy auction for $81,000 in 2003 and relaunched the search engine shortly after.


Here is a growing archive of the search engine history:

  • 2003 – Microsoft redux
  • 2001 – Goodbye GoTo, hello Overture
  • 2000 – Some Web expertise
  • 1999 – A winning search concept
  • 1999 – Now that’s fast!
  • 1998 – Its a hit! DirectHit
  • 1998 – And in the other corner... MSN
  • 1998 – And in this corner… Google
  • 1998 – 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 – The Meta-search
  • 1994-95 – InfoSeek
  • 1994 – Lycos
  • 1994 – The WebCrawler
  • 1994 – Yahoo!
  • 1994 – A Galaxy of web pages
  • 1993 – The birth of Excite
  • 1993 - The Web’s oldest existing search engine
  • 1993 – The first web robot
  • 1993 - Archie’s pal, Jughead
  • 1993 - Veronica, the grandmother of search engines
  • 1989 - Archie, the grandfather of all search engines

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