The grandfather of all search engines
called Archie can be traced way back to
1990 created by Alan Emtage, a student at
McGill University in Montreal. That was a
time when the primary modus operandi
of sharing fi les across the network was
File Transfer Protocol (FTP). In this method,
anyone who has to share a fi le would run
a service called FTP server. A user requiring
this fi le would connect to the PC using
another program called FTP client. The
availability of fi les for sharing would be
divulged by posting on discussion forums
or mailing lists in what could be termed as
the Internet, equivalent to word of mouth.
Later, anonymous FTP sites came into being
allowing users to post or retrieve the fi les.
Archie changed all this by combining a
script-based gatherer, which would scour
the FTP sites creating indexes of the fi les on
its run. The regular expression matcher of it
allowed the users to access its database.
If Archie is called the grandfather of
search engines then Veronica can rightly be
called the grandmother. This search engine
was developed in 1993 at the university of
Nevada System Computing Services Group.
It was a lot similar to Archie but worked on
Gopher fi les. Gopher is a service akin to FTP
but comprises plain text documents.
Matthew Gray’s World Wide Web
Wanderer, the mother of search engines,
was the fi rst to employ the “robot” concept.
A robot is essentially a software program
designed to access all web pages using
the links found in the web pages already
accessed. Though it was fi rst designed to
count the number of web servers, later it
started capturing URLs as it went along
creating the fi rst web database called
Wandex. Mathew Gray’s wanderer fueled
the development of many more robot-based
search engines, many of which power
today’s search engines.
Types of search engin