Wikia Search Launch
 by Stephen Mahaney

There's a cute new Search Engine Puppy on the block...
Wikia Search ...brought to you by the folks at Wikipedia
— By Stephen Mahaney

It was November 1999 when we first welcomed newcomer Google into the ranks of 'search engines worthy of our attention' ...and that was more than a year after the company was founded in 1998.

At the time Infoseek, Excite, Lycos, Inktomi, AltaVista & Yahoo were the big dogs on the block and, basically, in that order. Frankly, nobody (except maybe the googleguys) was predicting Google's meteoric rise to the top of the new world order of search until they had pummeled all of the 'entrenched' search engines right out of the business.

I remember back to the first Search Engine Strategies Conference (Nov99) held in San Francisco where this very humble fellow with a slight Russian accent (Sergey Brin) charmed the webmaster and SEO community by saying things like "we don't worry about spam" and "we never ban pages." Whether true or not, it was what the webmaster community wanted to hear.

Sergey's message was especially refreshing in light of the litany of frustration and wrath spewed forth by the preceding search engine representatives. Each to the man all but ranted about the insidious spam problem and the horribly depraved people who seemed bent on usurping THEIR search engine masterpieces to conduct such filthy practices as commercial endeavors. Some, like Alta Vista's CTO Andrei Broder dripped with contempt as he exasperatingly declared "95% of all page submissions to AV are spam." Of course, from AltaVista's point of view, I am sure that was true! But...

...it was NOT what the webmaster and SEO community wanted to hear.

By the time the 'stop spamming us!' declaration was seconded by Infoseek, and thirded (is that a word?) by Excite, and re-echoed by Lycos, and Yahoo, there was only frosty silence hanging in the air when, next up Googleguy Sergey Brin was asked: "What does Google do to spammers?" He articulated what...

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