Finding stuff online: 20 years of innovative search engines

What would the Internet be without a way to find something specific on its millions of sites? Search engines started providing that function two decades ago. Here are some of the landmarks, from Archie to AltaVista to Google and Bing.

Veronica (1992)



For a brief time in the early 1990s, the Gopher protocol overshadowed the World Wide Web in popularity. Gopher was a network of interconnected, hierarchical menus on the Internet that allowed users to navigate between sites, read text files, and download binary files conveniently.

When the number of Gopher sites exploded, users needed a way to search through them. Enter Veronica, a comic book-inspired play on the earlier search-related name Archie. It searched "Gopherspace," as seen here in a Web browser that supported the now-obsolete protocol.

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