The History of Search

The History of Search
The History of Search -Yahoo Circa 1996

The history of search is an interesting one both for marketers and Internet users in general. The need for search engines became immediately apparent as soon as the Internet became mainstream back in the mid 1990’s.

The History of Search -Yahoo Circa 1996
The History of Search -Yahoo Circa 1996

At the risk of dating myself, I can still remember the when NCSA Mosaic which later became Netscape was launched, transforming the Internet from a nerd hobby with applications like Archie, Gopher, News Servers and FTP to surfing the web.

Mosaic Netscape 0.9 on Windows
The History of Search – Mosaic Netscape 0.9 on Windows

A variety of free website editors like hotdog and free hosts like Geocities made the Internet, or the World Wide Web as it was often referred to back then, a place where all could contribute to a worldwide body of knowledge with no costs besides dial-up Internet.

History of Search -
The History of Search – – Circa 1996

The Internet Was Like Going To A Library With No Card Catalog

But the Internet and the information that it was comprise of was largely like a library without a card catalog. The Internet desperately needed an index that could be searched to locate information.

At the time the Internet was coming into fashion, I was working at GE’s Global Research Center, then called GE CRD (Corporate Research and Development) within the Information Technology Lab.

While on a highly technical IT project, one of the leads had mentioned a cutting edge architecture called “the blackboard architecture” as a possible architecture for our real-time project.

This was a pretty esoteric topic as the software communications architecture was brand new. With low expectations,  I decided to search Yahoo! for Blackboard Architecture and to my surprise, a link to a government project was returned in the search results in a few seconds.

This was an aha moment for me when the capability of the Internet powered by  search engines became apparent.

The Race To Search Engine Supremacy

One of the cool things about working in the Capital District is that it allows me to located close to some of the pioneers in the Internet marketing/SEO space. One in particular, is Jim Boykin and his Internet Marketing Ninja’s who have developed this informative look at the history of the search market.

The Race to Search Engine Supremacy



As you can see, Google clearly dominates search, though recently, Yahoo! has gained ground as Firefox switched is default search engine from Google to Yahoo! resulting in the largest loss/gain of market share by Google/Yahoo! This one time event is likely not going to materially impact Google’s dominance of the online search market anytime soon.

We trust that you have found this information interesting and informative. If you have any questions about search engines and how they can be use to market your business online, fill out the form below and someone from eBiz ROI will contact you.

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Rick Noel is an experienced digital marketer enabling businesses and organizations to grow through the Internet, while maximizing marketing ROI (Return On Investment). Rick is the CEO and Co-Founder of eBiz ROI, Inc., a full-service digital marketing agency located in Ballston Lake, NY.

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