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Introduction and Development of ALIWEB
– ALIWEB is considered the first Web search engine
– First announced in November 1993 by developer Martijn Koster
– Presented in May 1994 at the First International Conference on the World Wide Web at CERN in Geneva
– Preceded WebCrawler by several months
– Allowed users to submit the locations of index files on their sites

Features and Functionality of ALIWEB
– Enabled the search engine to include webpages
– Added user-written page descriptions and keywords
– Empowered webmasters to define terms leading users to their pages
– Avoided setting bots that used up bandwidth
– Relatively few people submitted their sites, resulting in limited usage

Background and Objectives of ALIWEB
– Martijn Koster detailed the background and objectives of ALIWEB in a paper presented at CERN
– Martijn Koster was also instrumental in the creation of the Robots Exclusion Standard
– ALIWEB’s functions and framework were outlined in the paper
– Martijn Koster is not associated with a commercial website posing as ALIWEB
– He warned against using the advertising site claiming to have trademarked ALIWEB

Related Concepts
World Wide Web Worm
– JumpStation
– History of the Internet
List of search engines

– Martijn Koster’s announcement of ALIWEB in comp.infosystems
– List of PostScript files for the WWW94 advance proceedings
– Chris Sherman’s article on ALIWEB in Search Engine Watch
– Wes Sonnenreich’s book ‘A History of Search Engines’ on John Wiley & Sons website
– Martijn Koster’s papers on Robots Exclusion and historical web services

ALIWEB (Wikipedia)

ALIWEB (Archie-Like Indexing for the Web) is considered the first Web search engine, as its predecessors were either built with different purposes (the Wanderer, Gopher) or were only indexers (Archie, Veronica and Jughead).

Type of site
Search engine
URLALIWEB at the Wayback Machine (archived 18 June 1997)
LaunchedMay 1994; 29 years ago (1994-05)
Current statusDefunct

First announced in November 1993 by developer Martijn Koster while working at Nexor, and presented in May 1994 at the First International Conference on the World Wide Web at CERN in Geneva, ALIWEB preceded WebCrawler by several months.

ALIWEB allowed users to submit the locations of index files on their sites which enabled the search engine to include webpages and add user-written page descriptions and keywords. This empowered webmasters to define the terms that would lead users to their pages, and also avoided setting bots (e.g. the Wanderer, JumpStation) which used up bandwidth. As relatively few people submitted their sites, ALIWEB was not very widely used.

Martijn Koster, who was also instrumental in the creation of the Robots Exclusion Standard, detailed the background and objectives of ALIWEB with an overview of its functions and framework in the paper he presented at CERN.

Koster is not associated with a commercial website posing as ALIWEB.

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