Search Engines – Winning and Losing on the Internet

Search Engines, whether you like it or not, control your financial future on the Internet.

Search Engines drive traffic. If you have done your due diligence for marketing on the Internet and gaining first page Search Engine Results.

Search Engines can send business to your competition if you aren’t paying attention.


Let’s face it, for companies vying for market share on the web, Search Engines will determine their ratio of success or failure.

You can overcome the need for search engine results through a huge budget to brand yourself through traditional marketing methods while promoting your domain name. For instance most know or and don’t need to search “Package shipper”.

If you want to ignore SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is the process of improving your organic rankings you can choose to use Pay Per Click Advertising which, in most cases, offers a good return on investment but often only if you know what you are doing.

What is SEO? Search Engines use algorithmic equations to determine where your site will appear in the Search Engines results page. SEO utilizes the knowledge and understanding of the algorithms to make your site more appealing to the various search engine resulting in higher positions within the organic results.

Are you on the first page? No. Then plan on spending money on traditional marketing methods, Pay-Per-Click Marketing or SEO.

Do you have a great looking site and can’t understand why everyone in the world is not buying your product or service? Are you on page one, two or three for your keywords? Then, chances are your results in the search engines is very low. No matter how pretty or really cool your website is, if you languish below page three, then you may as well either 1.) find a new line of work or, 2.) learn something about Search Engine Optimization. 3.) or pay for clicks forever.

Search Engines don’t care how pretty your site is. Search Engines don’t care how really technology savvy your site is. Search engines however DO care about how much really useful information that your site provides.

Search engines care about their user’s experience and so that they can keep users coming back to them for results. Good SEO creates a balance between the user experience and the mathematical and programmatic equations needed to tell the search engines about what the great information their user will have when visiting your site.

Did you build a really great site about new red convertible cars that would have everybody who visited your site buy one? Great!

Can the search engines read your content? Is your site popular on the Internet as a whole (do other sites link to it)? No?!?!? Pack up your bags and go home or get professional advice and consultation.

Search Engines and the application of the science of Search Engine Optimization can take your site and your business from zero to hero, from a cost to your company to a revenue generator.

This is no black art nor overnight miracle. Getting to the top of the Search Engines, takes knowledge, patience and just plain hard work.

Are you ready to see your site at the top of the search engines? Then contact the SEO professionals at Today!

A Brief History of Search Engines

The first real search engine created was Archie, created in 1990 by Alan Emtage, he was a student at McGill University in Montreal. The origin of the name was “archives,” but later was shortened to Archie. Archie helped the data scatter problem by combining a script-based data gatherer with a regular expression matcher for retrieving file names matching a user query. Essentially Archie became a database of web filenames which it would match with the users queries.

Soon the web’s first robot came. In June 1993 Matthew Gray launched the World Wide Web Wanderer. He initially wanted to measure the growth of the web and created his robot to count active web servers. However he soon upgraded the bot to capture actual URL’s. His database became knows as the Wandex.

The Wanderer was as much of a problem as it was a solution because it caused servers to lag by accessing the same page hundreds of times a day. It did not take long for him to fix this software, but webmasters started to question the value of bots.

In October of 1993 Martijn Koster created Archie-Like Indexing of the Web, or ALIWEB in response to the Wanderer. ALIWEB crawled meta information and allowed users to submit their pages they wanted indexed with their own page description. This meant it needed no bot to collect data and was not using excessive bandwidth. The downside of ALIWEB is that many people did not know how to submit their site and the system could be abused.

By December of 1993, three full fledged bot fed search engines had surfaced on the web: JumpStation, the World Wide Web Worm, and the Repository-Based Software Engineering (RBSE) spider. JumpStation gathered info about the title and header from Web pages and retrieved these using a simple linear search. As the web grew, JumpStation slowed to a stop. The WWW Worm indexed titles and URL’s. The problem with JumpStation and the World Wide Web Worm is that they listed results in the order that they found them, and provided no discrimination. The RSBE spider however implemented a ranking system.

Since early search algorithms did not do adequate link analysis or cache full page content if you did not know the exact name of what you were looking for it was extremely hard to find it.

Excite came from the project Architext, which was started by in February, 1993 by six Stanford undergrad students. They had the idea of using statistical analysis of word relationships (first level of density analysis) to make searching more efficient. They were soon funded, and in mid 1993 they released copies of their search software for use on web sites.

Excite was bought by a broadband provider named @Home in January, 1999 for $6.5 billion, and was named Excite@Home. In October, 2001 Excite@Home filed for bankruptcy. InfoSpace bought Excite from bankruptcy court for $10 million.

Infoseek also started out in 1994, claiming to have been founded in January. They really did not bring a whole lot of new innovation to the market, but they offered a few add on’s. In December 1995 they got Netscape to use them as their default search provider, this gave them significant exposure. One popular feature of Infoseek was allowing webmasters to submit a page to the search index in real time, which was a search spammer’s paradise.

Yahoo! Directory

In April of 1994 David Filo and Jerry Yang created the Yahoo! Directory as a collection of their favorite web pages. As their number of links grew they had to reorganize and make the directory search-able. What set the directories apart from The Wanderer at the time was that they provided a human compiled description with each URL. As time passed and the Yahoo! Directory grew and grew and grew.. Yahoo! began charging commercial sites for inclusion. Obviously as time went on the inclusion rates for listing a commercial site increased. The current cost is $299 per year. Many informational sites are still added to the Yahoo! Directory for free.

Brian Pinkerton of the University of Washington released WebCrawler on April 20, 1994. It was the first crawler which indexed the text of entire pages. Soon it became so popular that during daytime hours it couldn’t be used. AOL eventually purchased WebCrawler and used the technology to provide search results. Then in 1997, Excite bought out WebCrawler, and AOL began using Excite to power its NetFind. WebCrawler opened the door for many other services to follow suit. Within 1 year of its debut came Lycos, Infoseek, and OpenText.

Lycos was the next major development in search engine technology, having been design at Carnegie Mellon University around July of 1994. Michale Mauldin was responsible for this search engine and remains as the chief scientist at Lycos Inc.

On July 20, 1994, Lycos went public with a catalog of 54,000 documents. In addition to providing ranked relevance retrieval, Lycos provided prefix matching and word proximity bonuses (initial search phrase analysis). But Lycos’ main difference was the sheer size of its catalog: by August 1994, Lycos had identified 394,000 documents; by January 1995, the catalog had reached 1.5 million documents; and by November 1996, Lycos had indexed over 60 million documents.

Looksmart was started in 1995. They competed with the Yahoo! Directory by frequently increasing their inclusion rates between the two. In 2002 Looksmart transitioned into a pay per click provider, which charged listed sites a flat fee per click. That caused them a significant amount of user loyalty, however it allowed them to profit by syndicating those paid listings to other major portals like MSN. The problem was that Looksmart became too dependant on MSN, and in 2003, when Microsoft announced they were discontinuing Looksmart it fundamentally killed their business model.

AltaVista debuted online during the same general time period. AltaVista brought many important features to the Internet. They had very large bandwidth (for that time), they were also the first to allow natural language queries, advanced searching techniques and they allowed users to add or delete their own URL within 24 hours. They even allowed inbound link checking. AltaVista provided numerous search tips and advanced search features.

The Inktomi Corporation came about on May 20, 1996 with its search engine Hotbot. Two Cal Berkeley cohorts created Inktomi from the improved technology gained from their research. Hotwire listed this site and it became hugely popular very quickly. While Inktomi was an original companies to utilize the paid inclusion model it was nowhere near as efficient as the pay per click auction model developed by Overture. Licensing their search results also was not profitable enough to pay for their ever increasing costs. Ultimately, they failed to develop a profitable business model, and sold out to Yahoo! for approximately approximately $235 million, or $1.65 a share, in December of 2003.

AllTheWeb was a technology platform in the search industry launched in May of 1999 to showcase Fast’s search technologies. They had a very nice user interface with deep advanced search features. On February 23, 2003, AllTheWeb was bought by Overture for $70 million. After Yahoo! acquired Overture they incorporated some of the AllTheWeb technology into Yahoo! Search, and sometimes use AllTheWeb as a testing platform.


Google’s corporate history page has a pretty strong background on Google, starting from when Larry met Sergey at Stanford right up to present day. In 1995 Larry Page met Sergey Brin at Stanford.

By January of 1996, Larry and Sergey had begun collaboration on a search engine called BackRub, named for its unique ability to analyze the “back links” pointing to a given website. Larry, who had always enjoyed tinkering with machinery and had gained some notoriety for building a working printer out of Lego™ bricks, took on the task of creating a new kind of server environment that used low-end PCs instead of big expensive machines. Afflicted by the perennial shortage of cash common to graduate students everywhere, the pair took to haunting the department’s loading docks in hopes of tracking down newly arrived computers that they could borrow for their network.

A year later, their unique approach to link analysis was earning BackRub a growing reputation among those who had seen it. Buzz about the new search technology began to build as word spread around campus.

In 1998, Google was launched. Sergey tried to shop their PageRank technology, but nobody was interested in buying or licensing their search technology at that time.

Email: Google launched Gmail on March 31, 2004, offering search email search and gigabytes of storage space.

Google went public at $85 a share on August 19, 2004 and its first trade was at 11:56 am ET at $100.01.

Google News: Google News launched in beta in September 2002. On September 6, 2006, Google announced an expanded Google News Archive Search that goes back over 200 years.

Google Book Search: On October 6, 2004, Google launched Google Book Search.

Maps: On October 27, 2004, Google bought Keyhole. On February 8, 2005, Google launched Google Maps.

Google Scholar: On November 18, 2004, Google launched Google Scholar, an academic search program.

Analytics: On March 29, 2005, Google bought Urchin, a website traffic analytics company. Google renamed the service Google Analytics.

Google Blog Search: On September 14, 2005, Google announced Google Blog Search.

Google Base: On November 15, 2005, Google announced the launch of Google Base, a database of uploaded information describing online or offline content, products, or services.

Radio ads: Google bought dMarc Broadcasting on January 17, 2006.

Google Video: On January 6, 2006, Google announced Google Video.

Google Universal Search: On May 16, 2007 Google began mixing many of their vertical results into their organic search results.

Office productivity software: on March 9, 2006, Google bought Writely, an online collaborative document creating and editing software product.

Calendar: on April 14, 2006, Google launched Google Calendar, which allows you to share calendars with multiple editors and include calendars in web pages.

Checkout: On June 29, 2006, Google launched Google Checkout, a way to store your personal transaction related information online.

All of these various technologies can be used to promote your business. Find out how That! SEO Company can help promote your business in the Search Engines.