Though the Web became publicly available in 1990, the first web search engine didn’t arrive until 1993. Up until then, all websites were manually tracked and indexed by people.
And while we now recognize Google as the king of web search, Google wasn’t even in the game until 1998. During that five-year gap, twenty other search engines had their chance at glory, and most of them failed. You might even remember some of them.
WebCrawler (1994). Of all still-surviving search engines, WebCrawler is the oldest. Today, it aggregates results from Google and Yahoo.
AltaVista (1995). This was one of the most popular search engines in the 1990s, but was acquired by Yahoo in 2003 and subsequently shut down in 2013.
Excite (1995). One of the most recognizable brands back in the 1990s, but has since fallen out of the spotlight.
Dogpile (1996). It has a terrible brand name, but maybe that’s what made it memorable. Today, Dogpile aggregates results from Google, Yahoo, and the Russian search engine, Yandex (which is also older than Google!).
Ask Jeeves (1996). This engine was unique due to its question-and-answer format, plus it had a memorable mascot in Jeeves the Butler. Sadly, Jeeves was eventually phased out and the site rebranded to Ask.com. (Not to be confused with AskBoth.)
How many of these do you remember? Which one was your favorite? Do you still use any of these? Tell us in the comments below!
Image Credit: Search Query by isak55 via Shutterstock