ABCSearch - History of Web Search

The World Wide Web was born in November, 1990, with the launch of the first Web server (and Web page) hosted at the CERN research facility in Switzerland. By early 1993, the stage was set for the Web explosion. The first automated Web crawler, or robot, was the World Wide Web Wanderer created by MIT student Mathew Gray.

This crawler met with limited success. More robots appeared on the scene by late 1993, but it wasn't until early 1994 that searching became a collective phenomenon.

The Great Search Engine Explosion 1994 was a noteworthy year in the history of Web search. The first hierarchical directory, Galaxy, was launched in January and in April Stanford students David Filo and Jerry Yang created another hierarchical Officious oracle, better known as Yahoo!

By the end of 1995, nearly a dozen major search engines were online. AltaVista launched in December with an impressive database and many advanced features. Inktomi also debuted the following year.

All major search portals now rely on PPC listings for the bulk of their revenues. Currently, new metasearch engines possess a loyal following. The current crops of metasearch engines display mostly pay-per-click listings.

ABCSearch, another important player in the advertising arena was launched in 2001. The years 2001-2003 saw a series of acquisitions that rapidly consolidated the search industry into a handful of major players. In March 2003, Yahoo acquired the search engine Inktomi, Overture acquired AltaVista and AllTheWeb a month later, and Yahoo announced the acquisition of Overture in August 2003.

In 2004, a new balance of power took shape in paid listings and bidding.