The video we watched in class really made me realize how an online search engine can be considered as somewhat of a road map for Internet users. It would definitely be more difficult to find information online if search engines weren't in existence.
It's interesting to note how the early search engines, such as Yahoo and AltaVista, were essentially just vast, primitively-organized Web directories. I really enjoyed how the video mentioned some of the more popular search engines of the 1990s. As a young student who had a vague knowledge of computers and the Internet at the time, I have distinct memories of using Excite.com on my family's '95 IBM desktop computer, and how it would usually take around 8 to 10 seconds for the site to process my search results. In 2010, I don't even have to wait a tenth of a second for search engines like Google and Bing to give me results of not only Web sites that contain the information I'm looking for, but also pictures and videos that have it as well.
Search Engines and Web portals have changed drastically in the past 15 years. Gone are the days of receiving countless free AOL demo discs in the mail (which supposedly made great drink coasters, by the way). It amazes me how Google, a company that started as just a typical search engine site, has practically transformed itself into an all-out computing experience with such products as Chrome, Buzz, Blogger, Gmail, maps, documents and more.