Search engines are server side software designed to make it easier for a user to find things throughout the internet. Without search engines, many websites would remain secluded from one another and in many cases information would not be readily available for users to find and read.
The first tool that made the internet searchable was called Archie. Alan Emtage, a student at McGill University, created this application in 1990 that allowed a searchable database of file names from the internet. Archie was the beginning of a large list of search engines with different features and abilities that allowed the internet to grow to what it is today.
Such a simple idea changed the internet forever. As different people and companies improved Alan’s idea of a searchable internet the internet itself started to evolve. The internet is slowly becoming the replacement of many forms of media because it’s ability to be connected, up to date, and best of all free aside from the monthly fee of the connection. A whole world of information has combined before our eyes because the evolution of Alan’s idea of having a searchable platform.
Slowly but surely search engines gained ground on what they were able to index. Today many search engines still use old technology that allows the creator of a web page to input special keywords and tags within the code of a web page to allow them to be indexed toward the proper audience. The best search engines to date actually index the information found within the pages content.
Today, there are definitely major titans in the search engine world. Each is well funded by their advertising revenue driven by sponsored ads found within search results. Search engines results are now based on algorithms. Algorithms are rules set in place to rank pages within results differently in an attempt to give users the best experience for their given search.
Search engines also exist that allow you to search specific types of media such as images, video, news, sports, blogs, and forums. Narrowing the media you search from can often provide more desirable results. Major search engines don’t always offer these luxuries and finding the information you need can be very difficult.
The future of search engines is hard to determine. What we have seen in the recent years is the abundance of video media online. As web space and connection speeds are becoming more affordable and wide spread this trend is expected to continue but the next innovation in web search will surely be an exciting part in the evolution of search engines.