Search engines are amazing, and also very easy to take for granted. Every time you submit a query to Google, a lot of work has to be done in the background: Google must receive your query, interpret your input to understand what you are looking for, find relevant results in its index, rank those results, and send them back to you.
…and it does all of that in a fraction of a second!
A lot of smart people had to have great ideas for these search engines to come to be. This week we took a look at some of the key components in the history of search engines, and how Google was able to rise to power in this era.
Below are extra resources for everything we went over during this meeting. For the story of search engines and how Google took over, check out the powerpoint slides; these links don’t tell the whole story!
- Search Engine History – A chronological look at the key happenings of search engine history
- “As We May Think” – Vannevar Bush – read the actual article published by Bush where he describes the Memex
- Check out the actual Project Xanadu page, 54 years in the making
Organizing the Internet
- Browse the first directory on the internet: World Wide Web Virtual Library
- Archie (the world’s first search engine) – hosted at the University of Warsaw
PageRank + Google
- 1998 paper describing the science behind PageRank
- MIT OpenCourseWare video explaining PageRank
- A chronological list of the confirmed and unconfirmed Google algorithm updates
- Google explaining their “Caffeine” update… kind of (keep in mind that they would never share the technical details because it is a trade secret)
- First SIG Algorithm Challenges should be up during the Friday ACM meeting
- We will start looking for another room so that we are not crammed into the office
TBD, check back later in the week