Search Engine

Which came first, the search query or the search result?

Written by Ian Sharp on Jan. 29th, 2019

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It might sound like a funny question to ask. For search applications like google, yahoo, bing and duckduckgo; they were built after people already had websites (i.e search results). So I guess this is a pretty short blog then... Search result (websites), came first. Right?... Well hold on there. Yes and no. It depends on what you're talking about here.

Several websites launched after these search applications first became available too. Well, "who cares?" you might say, "that's just some details, but websites definitley came first, and then some websites came after too. Doesn't change a thing. So what?"

Well, from the perspective of information transfer, I'm here to tell you that they are both actually the same thing. What? Yes. You heard me. From the perspective of information transfer, they are the same. A search query can appear in a search box like "How do i tie my shoes?". A website can also have a large header of text that reads, "How do i tie my shoes?". They are both just text. The user interface in this example is really the only difference. One user interface shows the text in a text box (that you have the power to edit). Another user interface shows the text in a website (that you do not have the power to edit).

So the answer is they BOTH. They both came at the same time. Pretty cool? Now that we've learned that cool bit, is there something more we can do with our new understanding? Yes there absolutely is. Read my next blog post to learn more.


Ian Sharp PhD

Dr. Sharp helps businesses automate and optimize tasks. If you're interested in writing your own software to automate your job, or run better analyses, send us your pitch.


since 2014