Historical search engines
We all know what a search engine is. You may well have found this article by using one. And it's not our intention to document their history, though we do want to pay homage to ones you may never have used.
Archie, for example, is credited by pretty much everyone as the first search engine, and was created in 1990 by Alan Emtage. You could argue that the 'Integrated Information Management' system created by Steve Myers in 1985 was truly the first, but it was never a Web search tool, as it was used by a business for internal system searching, based on keywords and documents they reference.
One of the first three Web engines you may recall is HotBot, which launched in 1996 and was the Inktomi database creators' first commercial customer. What you might not be aware of is that it was owned and operated by Wired magazine. It's still knocking about and primarily uses the Yahoo Web directory.
You may not even remember 1998's DirectHit.com, but it ranked search results based on what links users clicked on, how long they stayed on the page they were directed to, and whether or not they returned to the search results listing to find a more appropriate link. Its demise came after a timely acquisition by what was then Ask Jeeves, circa 2000.
And let's not forget All The Web -- an engine based on technology developed by FAST (Fast Search & Transfer), a result of research at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Launched fully in 1999, All The Web became a respected player in the search market for a brief period. It was ultimately bought by Overture, which also bought AltaVista. Overture itself was subsequently acquired by Yahoo and All The Web now mirrors the results generated by Yahoo searches.