When I was first introduced to the internet, I think I may have been shown yahoo as the first engine. I do remember being taught by my father that it is likely that if you add ".com" to the end of a word, the page may exist, for example ibm.com. While I never had a jarring experience, looking back I realize how horrible advice it was. I think I was 7ish so this would be around 93.
Good thing WhiteHouse.com wasn't yet being used as an adult website yet if you wanted to learn more about the new US President Clinton back in 1993.
I never realized the irony of that site gaining notoriety in the late 90's around the same time Bill and Monica were having a little too much fun in the oval office.
Oval office? I thought it was the Oral Orifice!
'Course there's plenny wimmins gonna vote "Hillary" because they'd all Monica in a minute if opportunitied.
First search engine I used was a card file and the Dewey Decimal System.
Got you beat there. My first search engine was on clay tablets.
Ditto here. Ya know - I never did really question who or what Dewey was. I just entered it into Google. Some old coot who dreamed up a method of categorizing the books in a library. Who'da thunk it? I just learned the system, I didn't worry about buying the old guy a birthday card or anything.
Starting from Excite, I think I then switched to some meta-search-engine or another, and eventually to Google.
Pretty sure that this was my first search engine. I'd forgotten about it. Then Alta Vista because it was so much better. Then I found Yahoo! and it was so much better. Then I was recommended Google, and it was so much better. Now I'm lost. Google has good presentation. I find Yahoo! and Bing to be annoying, but I favor Bing over Yahoo! I tried Blackle as a goof, which of course is Google all dressed in black. Now it's DuckDuckGo when I'm not in a hurry for an image or map.
There were a few really handy meta-search engines, some of which are still around.
Metacrawler [metacrawler.com] is now Zoo [zoo.com]. It doesn't search as many places as it used to, but it still combines results from multiple places.
Dogpile [dogpile.com] is also still around, too, and also by Infospace, LLC.
Search.com [search.com] used to be part of CNET but CNET is now apparently part of CBS Interactive.
ixquick [ixquick.com] searches multiple other sites to return results and claims not to store or forward your IP address or other personal information.
Unfortunately Highway61 appears to be no more. It was my favorite.
NorthernLights and Magellan were big news in their time. NL took down their public-facing site. Altavista had uncannily good results once upon a time. It was shuffled around after the Digital/Compaq merger, was spun off, sold, and eventually became part of Yahoo.
metacrawler / go2net.com
Before metacrawler was webcrawler. That was my first, aside from gopher anyways.
A personal anecdote, I gained knowledge of Google in a what I felt was an odd way. I was at the hospital after the birth of my oldest child. There was a fellow new parent in the nursery who happened to be wearing an official Google shirt. This was before their IPO. The shirt just had their traditional multi-colored name and no indication as to what they were or did. I am not even convinced it was a marketing inspired shirt but it worked.
Yeah, I probably still have an e-mail which I got from Gibson Research Consulting 'bout this new, interesting search engine w/ the unlikely name of "Google".
I was at University at the time. Suddenly, the kids who knew computers better than me were always on this almost-blank page. I asked them what it was and they said it was a search engine. I couldn't believe it - there was nothing on that page! I mean, you didn't even have to search for where to enter your search!And yes, despite using AltaVista and Yahoo regularly, I had been hunting for the search field - the only reason I visited these sites anyway.
I used it once, and it worked. The complete clarity of the landing page was so brilliant, I never went back.
How ironic, given how the "UX" of Google has been going in recent years...
I used it all the time
Thanks! I was trying to remember if that was the name of it, until I saw your post. Same here. I used altavista for a while after webcrawler.
Never really used Yahoo's search. In the early days, Yahoo was careful to explain that they were a directory, not a search engine.
When I began my studies, we had some Dec workstations, with Mosaic browser...I think WebCrawler was the default(?) on those, but I may be mistaken...Altavista and Yahoo I saw first when the Dec:s were upgraded to Sun workstations running Netscape...Memory a bit shady, it was 20 years ago...
I think I saw Archie once but it was being demoed to me, not something I used. As for me... er... Lycos? Excite? Clinging desperately to webrings once you found something remotely related? I don't even remember for sure.
What do you mean with even then? After all, originally only adults used the internet, so there was absolutely no urge to "think of the children".
No clue. Lycos? Yahoo? Altavista? Something else? Back in the day (hey, get off my lawn!) they were all terrible, so I migrated to Metacrawler [wikipedia.org], which sent the query to a bunch of different search engines and blended the results. Then Google came along and put all the others to shame.
Hotbot was one of the first search engines I've used.
The first Search Engine I used was Webcrawler. Why isn't that one of the provided choices?
Sorry, we were born yesterday. No one here is old enough to remember WebCrawler before it became a metasearch.
To the crazy person who marked mine redundant, my post about Webcrawler was the first one mentioning Webcrawler.
Not really:"Missing option: Webcrawler . . . . (Score:2)
by e_armadillo (3695) on Wednesday April 08, @15:03 (#167985) "Sorry.
WebCrawler (Score:1, Redundant)by Freeman (732) on Wednesday April 08, @11:56AM
Your argument is invalid.
Sorry, but the other post was like 3 hours before yours, scroll up . . . .
Oops. XD I missed the one that mentioned WebCrawler in the title and not in the actual message.
You're doing it again! Do you want more redundancy?
What? No love for the World Wide Web Worm??
I was wondering if someone would remember the WWWW. I was one of the folks who had to try to keep the machine it ran on from running into the ground. It was basically built on top of egrep and there were a *lot* of egrep processes running on a poor little SGI Indy.
Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
Yeah, yeah, but i have to ask where is the "Other/None of the above" option, which is almost obligatory in this case. I see a few others here mentioning Webcrawler, HotBot, Lycos, Excite, etc., all perfectly valid options, historically and technically.
I started with webcrawler and box.sk.
Thinking about it more, it was astalavista.box.sk, and later hack.box.sk. But for the normal stuff, webcrawler.
It was probably 2004 when I first got online at 10 years old. It was google. A Windows XP box loaned to me from an online elementary school I was attending. Ironically, now I use DuckDuckGo.
Somehow I pictured you as my age or older given your stellar work on Night Linux, but no, you were born when I was almost out of high school. I guess it's ageist of me, but I see work like that and have a renewed hope for the current twentysomething "web developer is the only developer!" bracket.
I don't do web development. I hate networking. :^)
What was the first spell check you used?
Reminds me of the early days of the Internet gaining traction with the public, when the search engines were a bit dumber. I had a cousin who bought a dialup modem, got online with an ISP, and couldn't find ANYTHING because he spelled worse than a third grader with head trauma.
Altavista - one time. I was then exposed to google (I believe through the website of the freelunchdesign guy), never looked back until 6 months ago when I switched to duckduckgo.
is YaCy. [wikipedia.org] It's not perfect yet but its promise is great. If you're not familiar with it or haven't tried it yet, please do.
And for fucks sake, use anything for search except google because privacy.
Yeah, I've got a YaCy node on my home server...the results are atrocious though. I had it set as the default search on my phone for a while, but ended up switching to DuckDuckGo.
Probably half the problem is my own fault due to poor configuration or something, but the admin pages kinda suck so far. There are a number of options where I simply can't find any explanation at all of what they actually do, so when I'm configuring the damn thing I don't entirely know what I'm configuring. RAM utilization on that box is always pegged at 100% too, so maybe I need to throw more hardware at it. But I'm betting my main issue is the crawler setup, since I can't seem to get one to index anything beyond a single domain...so they end up just crawling a few pages and then shutting themselves down. :(
Remember that in its early days Yahoo actually reviewed submissions, and catalogued everything.
Yes, that means that the links that you followed had been examined by real live people, not just collected by an all to easy to game algorithm.
Of course, once AltaVista appeared Yahoo became the place where your dumber, slower, less cool relatives got their first e-mail address.
Traffic to my site increased a lot the day yahoo indexed it. Also when I moved from a demon.co.uk address to botf.com - a for con name in those days really pushed you up the rankings.
It also spawned newhoo - a "cloud based social collaborative website" or some such bollocks, which was basically original yahoo without the paid staff, just vollenteers. I think that morphed into dmoz? But by then Goodge had won the internet.
dmoz.org is still around.
I remember that when it was new I browsed around dmoz.org and eventually landed on a series of episodes of a story about a guy with an invisible girlfriend. I was never able to find that story again. I never found out how it ended.
While Archie was my first Internet-based search engine, strictly speaking, the first search engine I ever used was the public library's card catalog. You can't go much farther back than that and still be living!
No, the public library's card catalog was no search engine, it was a directory. Yahoo also used to provide a directory to web pages, but the web grew to large for that to be manageable.
Building a directory automatically is still an unsolved problem.
I'me surprised no metchened Infoseek. I used them due to simple page like google and it worked. I also remember them bragging there hardware of beefy SUN servers. I moved to google when infoseek became a portale page and went looking for a better search and found google in there very early days.
I was an early Infoseek user!. I remember getting a CD from them eons ago at a computer show at rhe Javits Center.
Infoseek was my preferred search engine as well. I stuck with it, but hated it after it started going commercial in the results. When it went full web portal I was done. Just like you, I went to Google. Now I'm using DuckDuckGo.
which no longer exists
I would guess at the first search 'engine' to be my brain and a book with an index, although pre-dating that, a fast flip through the pages looking at subject headings.
A dictionary. A phone directory. The Yellow Pages.
I remember school projects where I would use Encyclopaedia Britannica's 'Micropædia' to find topics, which were expanded upon using the ' Macropædia'.
A library index (all those small cards held in long drawers) [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_catalog [wikipedia.org] ]
On computers, I'm surprised non-one has mentioned Gopher [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gopher_%28protocol%29 [wikipedia.org] ], which is an Internet search engine, just not a World-Wide-Web search engine, and of course, Veronica, Jughead and Archie.
I chose Archie, but I was really thinking gopher. Gopher was pretty awesome. Next best thing to trading ftp lists on the EFNet IRC #warez channels.
The gopher search engine was Veronica. Gopher was the "previous WWW".
False dichotomy, it can be BOTH. The Internet Yellowpages was exactly how we looked up addresses when I first started using the "Internet". You would literally flip through a big dead-tree book in order to "search".
I thought of gopher as well. Didn't you have to crawl up to some kind of site in Minnesota, and then back down again to find the site you wanted to visit?
Long live the WWW! Now if only DNS can be made non-hierarchical as well..
My first search engine was galeon, I even barely remember their logo. It was around 1993
My first experience with searching on the internet was archie for files, and sometimes using Veronica; at the time Yahoo was a directory without much of search function that I could remember. I used to remember telneting to archie.au because it was the server I could always remember no matter what.
But I voted Yahoo because I heard of it first and used it first, before I discovered other search engines like lycos and altavista on it.
The Australian Archie server was incredibly useful as it's address was a.au. So if you wanted a known always-up host on the internet for a ping test to make sure the internet connection you has just set up for someone was working right through to the real world, a.au was one of the shortest valid hostnames available. I used it heaps to save on typing!
Before I switched to Google, they also had the clean UI that Google has. It started getting more and more cluttered. It was a perfectly good search engine. I could tell if the first result showing up on entering 2N3055 was actually the PDF datasheet. (Bing, for instance, doesn't).
My first search tool was a map, compass and torch, that comprised of 3 individual items, not one of these newfangled smart whatchamajigits.
Was using something before Alta Vista, but be buggered if the name springs to mind. Now, git orf my lawn, you whippersnappers with your rock'n'roll dancing and hula hoops.
My first search engine was me. I visited all those webring links manually and decided whether the site was worth reading or not.
Does anyone remember using a card catalog at the library, before the internet? Man, those were the days. There used to be no internet. It wasn't so bad really. I wouldn't mind if the internet was shut off for a year or so for the whole world, just for sanity sake.
I don't know, it might have been Altavista for me. Then again, I also remember Excite and Infoseek. Which came first? I would guess Infoseek but it wasn't even an option. No doubt there have been too many to list them all but how about an 'other'?
I remember seeing those addresses starting with http and not knowing what to do with them. Telnet would not accept them. Later I discovered I could telnet somewhere at cern.ch and they provided access to lynx (the old lynx, with numbered links in square brackets). FIBS had some obscure address somewhere under chalmers.se, there was a chess server too, some IRC servers also accessible via telnet, and not much else. So yes, the archie + ftp combo was for me about the only way to find and download anything useful.