Language English

Launched April 20, 1994
Closed No


Country of Origin


Topic Universal


Crawler-based, algorithmic SeEn
Meta SeEn

Used SeEn

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

Danny Sullivan (2004): »4/20/94: WebCrawler launches with information from 6,000 different web servers. It is a project by Brian Pinkerton, at the University of Washington.« ---------- »Oct. 1994: WebCrawler is serving 15,000 queries per day.« ---------- »3/29/95: AOL buys WebCrawler in March, and it moves from the University of Washington on this date.« ---------- »Jan. 1996: WebCrawler replaces Magellan on Netscape Net Search page.« ---------- »Nov. 1996: Excite acquires WebCrawler« »6/16/97: WebCrawler relaunches with new look, the first major changes since Excite acquired the service.« ---------- »9/15/97: WebCrawler debuts new channels, following the lead of sister search engine Excite. It also announces a 2-year partnership with bookseller Barnes & Noble. This follows a recent partnership formed in July between Excite and Amazon, Barnes & Noble's chief competitor.« ---------- »Dec. 97: WebCrawler stopped using retrieval technology from PLS and shifts over to using Excite's own technology.« ---------- »3/9/98: WebCrawler redesign lauched, debuting "friendlier" look« Source
Sullivan, Danny (Mar 3, 2003): »Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: ... WebCrawler (1994; reborn 2001): WebCrawler still exists as a meta search engine that gets results from other search engines, rather than through its own efforts. Now owned by Infospace, WebCrawler was arguably the web's first crawler-based search engine in the way we know them today. It launched in early 1994 as a University of Washington research project, was purchased by AOL in 1995, then sold to Excite at the end of 1996. The WebCrawler spider was deactivated in December 2001.« Source
Sherman, Chris (Mar 22, 2005): »Formerly a crawled-based search engine owned by Excite, Webcrawler was acquired by InfoSpace in 2002 and uses the same underlying technology as the other InfoSpace meta search engines, but offers a fast and clean, ad-free interface.« Source
wiseGEEK: »In 1994, though, the world of the search engine had a major breakthrough. A company called WebCrawler went live with a search engine that not only captured the title and header of pages on the Internet, but grabbed all of the content as well. WebCrawler was enormously successful — so successful that a great deal of the time it couldn’t even be utilized because its system resources were all being used.« Source
Sherman, Chris (Sep 9, 2003): »Created by University of Washington student Brian Pinkerton, Webcrawler subsequently was purchased by Excite, AOL, Excite again, before finally ending up in the hands of InfoSpace, which uses its name (but not technology) today.« Source


Critical points

Features & Functionality


References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others):

Other Sources

WebCrawler. Online available at SEO Logic. URL:
WebCrawler Timeline. Online available at URL:
Danny Sullivan (2004): Search Engine Timeline URL:
Sullivan, Danny (Mar 3, 2003): Where Are They Now? Search Engines We've Known & Loved URL:
About WebCrawler URL:
Frequently Asked Questions URL:

Created: 2013-01-22