Back in the mid-1990s, Yahoo and ruled the roost when it came to Internet search. Then Google hit the scene in 1998 and changed everything. With its bare-bones interface and innovative approach to search, Google became an overnight success, adding clever new features, such as image queries, desktop search, and an automated news service, at a clip that's left the former search leaders playing catch-up. With the addition of the forthcoming My Search History, you'll soon have a means of saving your searches the way you can now on , , and . Although Google lacks the multimedia search features of, say, Yahoo or AltaVista, the company promises to add these features very soon. However, none of the other search engines comes close to Google for local searches or detail-specific mapping. Finally, Google offers the most technical support within its help section. While this may seem a trivial feature, we suggest that understanding how to limit your search results to specific words found only on the title of a page can be a real time-saver.
Google's spare, simple user interface marked the beginning of the end for the "more is better" Web design of the late 1990s; indeed, Google's oft-imitated look and feel was so successful that it's hardly changed since its 1999 launch. Besides the colorful Google logo, the site's main page is mostly bare except for the search form, the buttons for search and I'm Feeling Lucky (which takes you straight to the page of the first most relevant result), and links labeled Web, Images, Groups, News, Froogle, and Local.