The Evolution of the Search Engine

Omar Zahran
7 min readApr 5, 2020
Image Credit: Johannes Plenio via Unsplash

The evolution of things is something that will occur naturally. It is not something that we can stop. As long as we as a human society do not come to an absolute standstill, there will continue to be progress filled with peaks, valleys, and trends. Certain things that were popular become less popular and then used for other purposes. Thinking about this makes me think, oddly enough, about search engines. The evolution of the search engine since the heyday of Yahoo search and the rise of Google search to now has been a phenomenal transformation. So much so that the simple search engine, the gateway to the internet, has become so much more than that and has also started to eliminate the need for several services on our mobile devices. Let’s take a look at what the search engine was then and what it has become today.

Image Credit: Matthew M via Unsplash

Humble Desktop Beginnings

Most people’s first interaction with a search engine was probably on a desktop or laptop computer. Navigating the web browser to Bing, Google, or Yahoo and then searching for whatever website or topic that came to mind. It was a very simple concept: the internet was a vast but very messy place and the search engine helped organize the chaos a bit. In many ways, the search engine was the modern reincarnation of the Dewey Decimal System that is used in libraries.

It is my belief that the search engine might be the most pivotal invention in the internet era as it made the contents of the world wide web so much more accessible to the masses. It was easy, it was simple, and it just worked. There have been many names that have come and gone in the industry. After all, anything related to financial sustainability on the Internet is a very fluid situation. But the main players that have remained are Microsoft with Bing and Google with Google Search.

It can be argued that Bing only still exists as a bit of irony, since Google search is so ubiquitous. In fact, it can be suggested that Google is to web search as Kleenex is to facial tissue. Both brands have become the de facto brand in their industries. However, Bing is still pre-installed on every Windows PC, is the default…

Omar Zahran

Freelance sports writer, check out all my work at