When did you first Google?

A quick poll:

  1. When did you first use the Google search engine?

  2. What search engine did you use before Google?

  3. Do you use Google exclusively now?

For me, I first discovered Google in the Summer of 2000. Before that, I usually used Yahoo! Now, I use Google 99% of the time.

Fifth grade. A teacher recommended it to me. I used to use Northernlight. Now I use Google 100% of the time.

  1. I think around 2001, because all the computers at school had their homepages set to it.
  2. www.ask.com (sadly jeeves has retired)
  3. 99.5%

I guess I started using Google’s website in 2000 or 2001. I used Yahoo before that, but Yahoo was serving Google results at the time, so I was really using Google then too. if you were using Yahoo before ~2003, you were actually using Google.

I also used to use AltaVista sometimes, but that is now the same as Yahoo.

I still use Yahoo on occasion, but my default is Google. The truth is, I usually bypass searching altogether and head straight to Wikipedia and my best guess for the Wiki URL of whatever it is I’m searching for. If I can’t find it on Wikipedia, then I try Google.

Lost in the mists of time.

2. What search engine did you use before Google?


I used Alta Vista from the mid-90s to around 2003 or so, when it got bought up by some other outfit that just puts the “Alta Vista” name on the front, and which ruined the boolean search engine that AV used to use.

No, when I really want to find something I crank up DEVONagent.

I don’t really care much for Google. Nice bunch of people or so I understand, good rich deep dataset to search, don’t care for the search engine interface. I want a single field to type a boolean string into. I want to be able to put “or” clauses within “and” clauses within “or” clauses joined by “not” clauses to other “or” clauses that include other nested clauses, all distinguished by hierarchies of parentheses.

Um, not to be too much of an “I was there when” type, but I think the first time I checked it out was when the URL was still h t t p://google.stanford.edu so probably sometime in 1997 or 1998. I changed jobs in February 1999, and it was long before that (I have memories of checking it out from a particular desk, and I moved desks a couple of times between then and when I left). But then I work in technology, and back then I was still keeping on top of all the latest cool stuff in the Internet world. I know I started using it as my primary search engine before they started including ads in the result pages, which means sometime in the 1999-2000 period, if the company history on Wikipedia is to be believed and they started including ads in 2000.

I used a variety of search engines before Google – AltaVista, Yahoo, Northern Light, AskJeeves, and no doubt others I’ve forgotten. There was no way you could rely on only one search engine at that time. Nobody had the breadth Google now does, and it’s hard to remember how irrelevant much of what the others returned was.

And yes, when I need to search for something, I pretty much always start with Google. Can’t remember the last time I had need to try a different search engine (but I’m pretty good at constructing queries, so probably get what I’m looking for more often than some – I certainly do better than my wife, who can spend half an hour on Google and miss something that I’ll get back on the first try when she asks for my help).

  1. I don’t recall – it was pretty early on in Google’s existance.

  2. Alta Vista

  3. 100% Google.

I don’t know for sure. I remember best using it in 2000. But don’t recall what I used before that.

Ditto . . . it was the same URL but I’m pretty sure it was on or around launch day (1998 IIRC) and I’m pretty sure the front page said Google[sub]BETA[/sub]. I read about it on another site (Slashdot, maybe?) I liked it immediately because the interface was so minimalist. I’ve always loved extremely simple and “clean” looking webpages and I still do. I cringe when I see people on Yahoo, MSN, AOL, etc front pages now.

I remember around 1999 or 2000 I had a cable internet tech come out to set my service up and he commented that he was glad to see me supporting an “independent” search engine (it was my homepage back then - now it’s only not because I use Opera and it’s built-in.)

Before that I used Yahoo! Now I use Google exclusively.

  1. When did you first use the Google search engine?
    In 2000, PC Mag had a review about how much greater it was.

  2. What search engine did you use before Google?
    Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and Alta Vista I believe.

  3. Do you use Google exclusively now?
    Very close to exclusive. It is my home page on all the machines in my house and usually the home page at work.

*By which I mean it was www.google.com, not google.stanford.edu.

I still don’t use Google. I use Yahoo!

I think 1999 or early 2000.
Dogpile and Metacrawler.
Usually. Almost exclusively. I use the image search a lot.

As I recall, I used the “Sherlock” search tool. I’d type my search phrase into the search bar, and and it would return results from several different search engines.

I think the first time I used a search tool from a web page it was www.alltheweb.com, which I used for several years.

These days it’s almost always google.

I can remember using Google when it still had the university URL. I don’t remember being particularly amazed by it, and I went back to Altavista. Sometimes I used Northern Light (if only because the page was prettier).

A couple of years ago, I got fed up with Google because it was starting to throw up too much crap in the results. I went back to Altavista temporarily, but Google improved again (of course, I may have imagined the Google performance).

I started out using Dogpile, which would search a bunch of search engines and give you back the top N results from each one. Eventually I noticed that Google always had the link I wanted, so I cut out the middleman and started using it full time. This would have been spring of 99, give or take.

I started using Google when people started buzzing about it here. I’m guessing 2000-2001 timeframe. Before that, I used AltaVista 85% of the time and Dogpile about 15% of the time. Now it’s 99.999999999% Google.

  1. When did you first use the Google search engine?
    I think it was 1999. I read an article somewhere about how fast it was, because it didn’t load any fancy graphics or advertisements. Oh, how times have changed. Though it’s still awfully fast.

  2. What search engine did you use before Google?
    AltaVista. It was awful.

  3. Do you use Google exclusively now?
    I have to sheepishly admit I do. Which is bad of me, because I actually consult for an upstart search engine. But Google works better. Bad me :smiley:

  1. 1999 - 2000
  2. I can’t even remember. Probably Yahoo search.
  3. I have a Google toolbar so it’s always my first search; I usually don’t have to do a second.

“Let me just show you some exciting systems architecture I found on the web.”

Client: “Why are you still using Google?”

“Yeah, I know it really sucks. Yours is going to be way better than that real soon. What a bunch of hacks those guys are. I give them 2 years tops”.