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The World Wide Web Worm (WWWW) was one of the earliest search engines for the World Wide Web (WWW). It is claimed by some to be the first search engine, though it was not released until March 1994, by which time a number of other search engines had been made publicly available. It was developed in September 1993 by Oliver McBryan at the University of Colorado as a research project.

The worm created a database of 300,000 multimedia objects which could be obtained or searched for keywords via the WWW. It indexed about 110,000 webpages as of 1994.[1] In contrast to present-day search engines, the WWWW featured support for Perl regular expressions.

The website,, is no longer accessible, and redirects to, which purchased WWWW's technology circa 1997. The Internet Archive has a copy that can be viewed at the address McBryan stated in a 2016 podcast that WWWW was an educational project and he never thought of commercializing it like Excite or Yahoo! did, partly because the University did not have a department that dealt specifically with such computer technology.[2]



  1. ^ "The Anatomy of a Search Engine". Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  2. ^ Liveright; Engl, a subsidiary of W. W. Norton He is an Arsenal fan; Gator fan;; Penelope, fan In that order In 2014 he was the co-founder of a startup human named; Twitter, in 2016 he launched Maxwell into beta. "Was The World Wide Web Worm the First Web Search Engine?". Internet History Podcast. Retrieved 2019-02-06.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)

This article is based on material taken from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing prior to 1 November 2008 and incorporated under the "relicensing" terms of the GFDL, version 1.3 or later.