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55 Ways to Have Fun With Google. Go to Table of Contents. Visit Gifcom.

7. A Brief History of Googlesport

It may be that all games are silly. But then, so are humans.
– Robert Lynd

People today often participate in a challenge called “Search Engine Optimization contests.” In a nut-shell, the goal of these contests is to get to be the top ranked page in the Google search results for a given term or phrase. In order to not disturb “normal” search results, contests often take nonsensical words as their target. While in the beginning I was often taking part in these contests myself, after many lessons learned (including a contest for the nonsense phrase “Seraphim Proudleduck”) today I do not participate in them anymore. But before we jump into the history of search engine optimization contests, let’s go back several thousand years and start recapping the history of search engines themselves.

B.C-1956: The Dawn of Computing

Before Christ, there was the counting aid Abacus. Some centuries later, in 1642, Blaise Pascal builds a mechanical calculator. Around 1820, Charles Babbage follows-up with his steam-powered Difference Engine, and Countess of Lovelace Augusta Ada Byron is pondering programming it after having met him.

The first computer (a programmable calculator) by German engineer Konrad Zuse is completed in 1941.

Britain and USA take over the computing technology field with Colossus, ENIAC, the transistor (by Bell Telephone), and UNIVAC – the “Universal Automatic Computer.”

1957-1990: The Internet

In 1957, ARPA (the Advanced Research Projects Agency, within the Department of Defense, DoD) is created to foster US technology. Some ten years later, DARPA marks the beginnings of the Internet. Intel is founded in ‘68, Doug Engelbart spends time show-casing his revolutionary ideas of word processing, and a year later, Xerox creates the equally revolutionary think tank PARC, the Palo Alto Research Center. Universities are slowly being connected together via ARPANET in 1969. In 1977, Apple II is born, followed by the IBM