ARIN2610 Hypertextual Essay

ARIN2610 Assignment 2: The Study Of Search Engine

Lawrence Zeng

Search engines nowadays:

With the rolling of the wheel of history, network technology, and big data technology have been very mature nowadays. The combination of these two technologies has produced the most commonly used software in today’s human daily life, the search engine. Searching the word Search Engine from Wikipedia, which, by the way, also thanks to the work of Search Engine, the definition been collected is ‘a software system that is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. The search results are generally presented in a line of results often referred to as search engine results pages (SERPs). The information may be a mix of web pages, images, and other types of files.’ ( 2018, Wikipedia ) It can be clearly seen that, in normal information searching, people can browse and search relevant information existing in any large database to find the one they need through keywords accurately.

The history of search engines:

Search engines as a technology will undoubtedly have an origin, and the first search engine in history was not developed for commercial use by companies like Google and Bing. The first search engine has been developed by a student of McGill University is Montreal called Alan Emtage in the year of 1990. The prototype is originally used as a school project. This original search engine is called Archie as ‘an index (or archives) of computer files stored on anonymous FTP websites in a given network of computers.’ ( 2018, YouMeGeek ) After one year, another student named Mark McCahill, who is a student of the University of Minnesota, ‘effectively used a hypertext paradigm to create Gopher, which also searched for plain text references in files’( 2018, YouMeGeek ), which is also been called the pre-web search engine. 

Internet timeline

Unlike the contemporary search engine, the searchable database websites of Archie and Gopher  ‘did not have natural language keyword capabilities used in modern search engines.’( 2018, YouMeGeek ) However, in 1993, the graphical Mosaic web browser primarily improved based on the text interface of Gopher search engine. In the same year, the first search engine which is well known among people around the world was developed by Matthew Gary, Wandex. ‘Wandex’s technology was the first to crawl the web indexing and searching the catalog of indexed pages on the web.’( 2018, Paul Gil ) Another important boost of the level of the technology developed upon the Webdex search engine is that in 1994, with the development of WebCrawler, the full text is able for user to search rather than the page title of each website.

The development of Search engine

In the nearly 30 years of development of internet technology, the well-known search engines which occupied the largest part of the market such as Google, Bing, and Baidu as a pure search engine website have already become the tools that people are used to while surfing on internet.



However, in today’s society, with the emergence of more and more intelligent devices such as smartphones and smart electronic wearable devices based on computing, three major applications have been summarised as the basic standards of such smart devices, namely, search engine, E-mail, and instant communication. Therefore, the search engine is no longer a single website searching tool, but an indispensable important information searching tools which more widely used for software and their systems which rely on the application of a huge database.

Based on the example, according to The 24th China Internet network development statistics report, the number of netizens using E-mail reached 55.4%, and the rate of using network news remained stable, accounting for 72.2%( 2014, Chinese Government ). The most important thing is that it includes almost all the ordinary mobile phone and computer users. Due to the wide application of these three basic applications and the common features of the database, the combination and mutual support between applications are indispensable. Taking search engine as an example, with the emergence of more and more network information sharing and communication platforms, search engine becomes one of the most useful tools for filtering and managing information.

Who owns and controls the key business in this field? 

When it comes to the key business of search engines, advertising is one of the most massive ones that can be found by users on websites. So that, in other words, Google can be also defined as the biggest advertising company. As clearly shown in the picture below, when users search for keywords, the search engine will automatically put the advertising information in the top several items, which Google officially calls Google Adwords, and gives an explanation:

‘Google Adwords is an online advertising service that allows businesses to have their ads run on Google’s search results page. The ads look almost identical to the normal search results, with the only difference being the small word “Ad” in green. Google ads will show at the top and bottom of a search results page.’ ( 2017, Maggie Aland )

Of course, as the owner and operator of the search engine software, the company of these search engine owns and controls the key business. However, it is not just companies like Google, Bing or Baidu that can dominate and benefit from this business.

Although the search engine company is allowing other third-party companies advertising in the environment created by the search engine systems. For example, the rule of advertising fee Google set for user is to count on the number of appearance of the advertisement entry when others searching of keywords, in order to obtain economic benefits, advertising companies may also benefit due to the application of search engine on software while the number of computer and smartphone users boosting to improve their popularity and broaden the marketing products by the market. There must be no doubt that the more money paying for advertising, the more potential customers can be got. Meanwhile, as the application range of search engines becomes wider, a large number of companies are willing to use search engines to advertise on as a popular platform, and the company to which search engines belong becomes only a platform provider. In other words, this business is also dominated and controlled by advertisers.

Benefits of Search engine service

With the development of search engine, in the evolution of such powerful search capabilities and convenient functions, it has become a necessary step for Internet users



to surf online, or even replace the users’ memorizing of the website domain name. Meanwhile, due to the indispensability of locating online information belongs to not only social but also privately for the individual, variety of areas of information including business, government, entertainment, culture, health problems and so on can be located and access by users. In this process, it seems like netizens are the biggest part of beneficiaries based on discussing the daily life of human living, however, on a different area of service, there are also others who get the benefit.

In the aspect of society and economy, the advertisement on the search engine is a good way to get benefits for private companies during the step of beginning. For these beginners, ‘Most of the time, AdWords on the Search Network is the perfect starting point for many businesses. This is primarily because it is the perfect testing ground for people who are actively searching. You can test different headlines and marketing messaging in the ads by observing the click-through rates on different ads.’( 2015, Louis White ) Meanwhile, the AdWords not only gives these companies opportunities to do advertising with low cost but also encourage more people to build their own companies with lowering the mountain of standards used to be with difficulties. It is obvious that with more companies been built, employment is going to increase and the economy will grow. People’s disposable income and Living standard will also increase.

However, even with all the benefits of the Search engine, the rapid development of this technology is still a bad news for the traditional advertising industry. As the advertising service on the search engine becomes the first choice of most companies, the market of the traditional advertising industry is lost, which leads them to the negative impact on industry development. Meanwhile, the content inside of the big database of the search engine companies is also significant for users, if the content of result for users to see on the search engine web page is not carefully screened to make the link with bad information, such as violence, pornography, antisocial, etc. It will be accepted by the children, and Keep them from developing healthy values and morals as they grow up.

Therefore, search engine is also a double-edged sword from some perspectives, therefore the future challenge of this developing technology is to ensure effective regulation in place to ensure there ‘s net benefit brought to the society and economy.



Reference List:

Wikipedia (2018). Web Search Engine ,

YouMeGeek (2018). History of Web Search Engines ,

Pail Gil (2018). The Best Search Engines of 2018,

Chinese Government (2014). The 24th China Internet network development statistics report,

Maggie Aland (2017). How to Advertise on Google and Boost Your Small Business,

Louis White (2015). Do Google Adwods really work,

Jansen (2018). B. J., Benefits of search engines,

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