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Tag: Search Engine

A search engine is a software program to locate a web page by typing in a relevant query. Search engines use algorithms to analyze billions of web pages and deliver the results to you based on your user query.

Google and Bing are the two most popular search engines by market share.

The Purpose of Search Engines

Search engines are an indispensable tool for navigating the vast world of the internet. Whether you are looking for the latest news, researching a topic, or shopping for a specific product, search engines are the gateway to information and services that the web has to offer.

The History of Search Engines

Search engines have come a long way since their inception. From the early days of primitive concepts like Archie and Gopher, to the breakthroughs made by pioneers like Yahoo! and Google, the history of search engines is fascinating.

Search engines predate the World Wide Web but have been a part of the mainstream browsing experience since the early-mid 1990s.

Initially, the search engine concept served the need to locate a piece of information easily & rapidly on the public Internet, replacing a trip to the library.

Early popular search engines like AltaVista, Ask Jeeves and Infoseek ranked websites based on the density of the searcher’s intended keywords (or related phrases) inside a web page. As the Web exploded, this model became unsustainable.

The Arrival of Google

It all changed in 1996. Two Stanford students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, developed a new concept: PageRank, a.k.a. backlinks. Their research project, BackRub, was a database that ranked web pages based on however many links it received from others’ pages. In this model links were “votes”, so those with the most links won.

By 1998, the BackRub database was so massive and mature that Page and Brin patented the PageRank model and used it to launch a new generation of consumer search engines: Google.

“Google” came from the word “googol”, a gigantic unit of measure – after all, BackRub was a literal giant. A big, friendly one at that.

Today, Google dominates the global search engine market with an overwhelming market share of over 90%. This means that the majority of internet searches are conducted on Google, making it an essential platform for businesses and individuals to optimize their online presence.

As the Internet matured, search engines were quickly and widely adopted. They were now so integrated into our daily lives that ad agencies, corporations & small businesses saw valuable advertising space.

Advertising on Search Engines

Although advertisers can pay Google to get "Sponsored" search results, the majority of traffic goes to regular search results a.k.a. "organic" results. That's why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has existed for as long as search engines have been mainstream.

Regular results are called "organic" as they're naturally generated and sorted by search engine algorithms. They are exact mathematical formulas. While search engines -- especially Google -- vary in complexity, someone knowledgeable in SEO can back-engineer these formulas (which Google doesn't publish) to position a web page for first-page ranking on a search engine result.

The Future of Search Engines

As technology continues to evolve, so will search engines. Here are some predictions for the future of search engine technology:

  1. AI will play a more prominent role in understanding user intent and delivering personalized search results.
  2. Voice search and natural language processing will become increasingly popular, shaping the way users interact with search engines.
  3. Visual search will gain traction, allowing users to search using images rather than keywords.
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