The evolution of search engines happened stage by stage for enhancing the user’s comfort in their search results. At the early stage, people used bundles of paper to store their information. Storing and retrieving those information was the biggest hurdles at that stage. Later, Digitization of communication devices made a revolution and reduced those hurdles. People started to go for further simplified methods of storing and retrieving information. With the advancement of technologies, this was further simplified by the invention of the computers and internet. This kindled people’s interest towards automation of searching information. People realized the adequacy of better searching option before 20 years, so that the computers can be consumed efficiently.
This paved the way to the debut of search engines and the evolution of search engines happened with several versions as described below.
Evolution of Search Engines Version 1.0:
In olden days, there were no efficient search tools like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. People relayed upon web crawlers like Alta Vista, Lycos, and Web Crawler. These tools worked on the concept of indexing, web crawling and relevancy of the web pages. There was even a myth saying that, the relevancy and ranking of webpage increases with the number of words in a particular website. But the crawlers actually displayed results by the occurrence of the searched keyword into the content; it is termed as on-the page-criteria. This concept of search even had the downside of spamming; the content on the bottom of website got cropped and does not display the requisite page for the users. Hence, a better search automation required for the web developers to give a appropriate results to the users.
Evolution of Search Engines Version 2.0:
Enhancing the pitfalls of the version 1.0, version 2.0 arrived with the methodology of both on-page and off-page criteria. This advancement make search engines to search a particular page which has link clicked by maximum number of users. This version also concerned about the reliability and relevancy of the displayed results, the websites also get high ranking based on the viewer’s consumption. In spite of these benefits of version 2.0, it also has a drawback of campaigns and propaganda’s popularizing even an inappropriate content with high ranking, for example “voting” concept.
Blending of Horizontal & Vertical search:
Searching has been widened off-the page criteria, still it had a problem of blending results given by horizontal and vertical search. Horizontal search is the concept of searching a result over billions of webpages in a straight line i.e., searching result for toys will display all the pages having the words and links relevant to toys via vast spectrum of web. This search can be further drilled down by using a keyword “shopping “will results in online shopping and the “Shops for buying toys” keyword will exactly show the corresponding pages. This narrowing of search results from a wide spectrum into smaller known boxes is known as vertical search. Though the vertical search narrows down the search, there is pseudo ranking prevailing for websites. This can further be illustrated via example, if a user is searching for “indication of storm”the search engines will display the pages with the “latest storm events occurred” via ”news” vertical search, since it will be the most often clicked webpage of the day. The demand for combination of vertical and horizontal search leaded to the evaluation of search 3.0.
Evolution of Search Engines Version 3.0:
The mixed results of search 2.0 have displayed only the documents and content of the web pages narrowing down the searching keywords by horizontal and vertical searches. Users still needed enhanced features with the blending results of horizontal and vertical search. Search 3.0 resulted in displaying the results with information extracted from both vertical and horizontal searches i.e.; search with keyword” flowers” will result in displaying web pages with videos about flowers, maps leading to flowers hops, and books related with flowers, images of various flowers, etc.
This further illustrated by below example of Google search
Evolution of Search Engines Version 4.0:
Search 3.0 facilitated the user with the all required information in all the available formats. The modern digital world needs more versatility of any available technology, thus search leading to an another version as Search 4.0. This version emerged with all the personalized features by displaying the results with the user’s browsing history. This helps the search engines to deliver the best and appropriate results to the users. For example, if person searches about tourist spots in India, the results will be generated quickly, if they are located in India. The search 4.0 also supports multi languages for browsing.
Most awaiting search evolution to hit was searching options with artificial intelligence. This version will definitely make a revolution all around. In this method, the user gives their input as voice in search query. The searching methodology for these versions will not be restricted with webpages but also content of social media’s with corresponding titles. Thus, there will not be any end for new innovations and upgradation in the dynamic web history, especially with search engines.