Life Before Search Engines

Before the invention of the internet, searching for information was a very real and physical chore: in order to do research, you had to go to a library, search through the Dewey Decimal System, walk around the stacks and finally find the source that may or may not have your answer. A simple query could take HOURS.

I cannot overemphasize the impact search engines have had on our society: we now have easy and nearly instantaneous access to millions of pages of content. This is revolutionary, have no doubt.

In the summer of 1993, the first search engine (as we understand the concept now) came into being. Up until that point, information on the internet was cataloged by hand–if at all. This arduous task was made more difficult when some web page owners were less than honest: spammers and scammers could try to fool users with false content.

In 1995, Google came into being. It innovated search with its concept of PageRank: an algorithm that determined a page’s worth based on the number of reputable pages that linked to it. Now, searches were much more accurate, although the spammers did figure out ways to try and fool the search engine.

The History of Internet Search and Google – Part 1

The History of Internet Search and Google – Part 2

The History of Internet Search and Google – Part 3

Articles used to write this lesson

Life Before Google

History of Search Engines: From 1945 to Google Today

Timeline of Search Engine History

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