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Search Engine Basics
10-14-2010, 03:44 PM,
#1
Search Engine Basics
What do you do when you need to find something on the Internet? In most cases, you pop over to one of the major search engines and type in the term or phrase that you’re looking for and then click through the results, right? But of course search engines weren’t always around. In its infancy, the Internet wasn’t what you think of when you use it now. In fact, it was nothing like the web of interconnected sites that’s become one of the greatest business facilitators of our time. Instead, what was called the Internet was actually a collection of FTP (File Transfer Protocol) sites that users could access to download (or upload) files. To find a specific file in that collection, users had to navigate through each file. Sure, there were shortcuts. If you knew the right people — that would be the people who knew the exact address of the file you were looking for — you could go straight to the file. That’s assuming you knew exactly what you were looking for. The whole process made finding files on the Internet a difficult, timeconsuming exercise in patience. But that was before a student at McGill University in Montreal decided there had to be an easier way. In 1990, Alan Emtage created the first search tool used on the Internet. His creation, an index of files on the Internet, was called Archie. If you’re thinking Archie, the comic book character created in 1941, you’re a little off track (at least for now). The name Archie was used because the file name Archives was too long. Later, Archie’s pals from the comic book series (Veronica and Jughead) came onto the search scene, too, but we’ll get to that shortly.

Archie wasn’t actually a search engine like those that you use today. But at the time, it was a program many Internet users were happy to have. The program basically downloaded directory listings for all of the files that were stored on anonymous FTP sites in a given network of computers. Those listings were then plugged into a searchable database of web sites.  The search capabilities of Archie weren’t as fancy as the natural language capabilities you’ll find in most common search engines today, but at the time it got the job done. Archie indexed computer files, making them easier to locate. In 1991, however, another student named Mark McCahill, at the University of Minnesota, decided that if you could search for files on the Internet, then surely you could also search plain text for specific references in the files. Because no such application existed, he created Gopher, a program that indexed the plain-text documents that later became the first web sites on the public Internet. With the creation of Gopher, there also needed to be programs that could find references within the indexes that Gopher created, and so Archie’s pals finally rejoined him. Veronica (Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archives) and Jughead (Jonzy’s Universal Gopher Hierarchy Excavation and Display) were created to search the files that were stored in the Gopher Index System. Both of these programs worked in essentially the same way, allowing users to search the indexed information by keyword.
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10-21-2010, 01:59 PM,
#2
Re: Search Engine Basics
That is an extremely interesting post.  I had no idea how the whole search engine idea first got started.  I'm glad to hear it was a fellow Canadian that got it off to such a good start.  I just wish it has stayed that simple.  If you have any tips for helping newer webmasters to get the hand of SEO, I would be very grateful.

I have two websites, and I admit that I paid someone to get them registered on Google and Yahoo.  Embarrassing but true.
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10-23-2010, 05:50 PM,
#3
Re: Search Engine Basics
Very nice..it really has a very good content about understanding SEO. very good post this need to be shared by every one
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10-24-2010, 12:41 PM,
#4
Re: Search Engine Basics
Wow, just imagine a life without search engines O_O
Websites would of had to been put up on billboards and on tv alot more.

Without search engines, hwo would of huge websites like facebook started?
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10-24-2010, 06:08 PM,
#5
Re: Search Engine Basics
search engines made everything easy in promoting and creating. without that there us no other site we can find
fashion blog
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10-25-2010, 09:24 AM,
#6
Re: Search Engine Basics
Nice thread here. Very nice content about understand SEO.
Thanks.
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10-28-2010, 12:50 PM,
#7
Re: Search Engine Basics
Don't you find now that SEOs have become so complicated?  They change their rules every week, sometimes daily or hourly.  It is so incredibly difficult to keep up.  I used to use them to get my website see all the time, but now, I do still use them, but I certainly don't depend on them.
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10-30-2010, 07:13 PM,
#8
Re: Search Engine Basics
Great thread sphere. I do agree with catlover how they are kind of getting complicated. I get some members off search engines but the majority are from promotion forums
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11-01-2010, 04:43 AM,
#9
Re: Search Engine Basics
Wow, thanks for the history post, sphere! I love reading things like this. It reminds me of getting stuck on Wikipedia and just clicking on link after link. Where would we be if we didn't have search engines or Wikipedia?
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11-01-2010, 10:27 AM,
#10
Re: Search Engine Basics
Very interesting! The only thing I don't get is the "Archie because Archives was too long" part - since filenames originally were 8.3 (limited to 8 characters before the . and three after), "Archives" was actually exactly long enough. I think there must have been an additional reason for choosing "Archie" instead.
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