The Internet Before Google: A nostalgic look at 7 (almost) forgotten search engines

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The Internet Before Google: A nostalgic look at 7 (almost) forgotten search engines
The Internet Before Google: A nostalgic look at 7 (almost) forgotten search engines

You have a question? Then Google usually has the answer for you! It’s hard to imagine the Internet (and our everyday life) without the powerful search engine. In fact, there was a time when the Internet was still young and Google was not yet born.

So we take a nostalgic look back at seven almost forgotten search engines before Google.

Web crawler

Web Crawler Search Engine
Web Crawler Search Engine

Web Crawler was launched in 1994 and is the oldest existing search engine on the Internet. Today, Web Crawler combines Google and Yahoo search results.

Lycos

Lycos Search Engine
Lycos Search Engine

This search engine with the characteristic dog as a mascot dates back to 1995 and was developed at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The company experienced a dramatic slump: out of 50 million unique visitors per day, Lycos’s market share fell to 0.01 percent. Nevertheless, Lycos continues to this day and there is also a German version of the search engine.

Alta Vista

Altavista search engine
Altavista search engine

Alta Vista was one of the most popular search engines in the 90s. She introduced many innovative technologies for the time, some of which are still used by search engines today.

Alta Vista was also one of the first search engines to index the entire text content of a web page. Alta Vista was launched in 1995, then acquired by Yahoo in 2003, and eventually shut down in 2013.

Excite

Excite search engine
Excite search engine

In addition to AltaVista, Excite was another well-known in the field of search engines in the 1990s. Excite started in 1995 and the search engine is still available today, but has largely been forgotten.

Dogpile

Dogpile search engine
Dogpile search engine

Anyone who thinks Google is a weird name for a search engine has obviously never heard of Dogpile.

Dogpile was born in 1996 and was perhaps a well-known brand because of its strange name. Today Dogpile brings together search results from Google, Yahoo and the Russian search engine Yandex.

Yahoo

Yahoo Search Engine
Yahoo Search Engine

At the birth of the worldwide web, Yahoo was THE Internet company par excellence, as was its 1995 search engine.

Yahoo is still one of the few search engines from that time that can reach Google, albeit at a huge distance.

Ask Jeeves

Ask Jeeves Search Engine
Ask Jeeves Search Engine

Another memorable classic among the pre-Google search engines is Ask Jeeves. What made the search engine stand out was their unusual question-answer format and of course the mascot of the site, Butler Jeeves.

Ask Jeeves launched in 1996 and has since been re-branded to Ask.com.

Which early search engines do you remember?