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JumpStation was the first WWW search engine that behaved, and appeared to the user, the way current web search engines do.[1] It started indexing on Sunday 12th December 1993[2] and was announced on the Mosaic "What's New" webpage on 21st December 1993.[3] It was hosted at the University of Stirling in Scotland.

It was written by Jonathon Fletcher[4][5], who graduated from the University with a first class honours degree in Computing Science in the summer of 1992.[6] He was subsequently employed there as a systems administrator. JumpStation's development discontinued when he left the University in late 1994, having failed to get any investors, including the University of Stirling, to financially back his idea.[6] At this point the database had 275,000 entries spanning 1500 servers.[7]

JumpStation used document titles and headings to index the web pages found using a simple linear search, and did not provide any ranking of results.[7][8] However, in that it used an index solely built by a web robot, searched this index using keyword queries entered by the user on a web form whose location was well-known[9], and presented its results in the form of a list of URLs that matched those keywords, JumpStation had the same basic shape as Google search.

JumpStation was nominated for a "Best Of The Web" award in 1994[10], and the story of its origin and development written up, using interviews with Fletcher, by Wishart and Bochsler.[11]


  1. http://www.metro.co.uk/news/article.html?Why_we_nearly_McGoogled_it&in_article_id=582089
  2. Archive of email sent to Matt Gray
  3. Archive of NCSA what's new in December 1993 page
  4. http://www.robotstxt.org/db/jumpstation.html
  5. Early Spiders
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Scotland on Sunday/The Scotsman, 15 March 2009". http://www.scotsman.com/latestnews/Googling-was-born-in-Stirling.5073256.jp. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 http://www.ambrosiasw.com/~fprefect/matrix/js.html
  8. SearchEngineHistory.com
  9. Oliver A. McBryan: GENVL and WWWW: Tools for Taming the Web, Oscar Nierstrasz (Ed.), Proceedings of the First International World Wide Web Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, May 1994 (Ref 9).
  10. BOTW Awards 1994
  11. Adam Wishart and Regula Bochsler: Leaving Reality Behind: etoys v eToys.com, and other battles to control cyberspace, Ecco, 2003, ISBN 0066210763.
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