I lived in Santa Clara, CA at the end of the 20th century (late 1990s). Yahoo, created by Stanford college students, provided the default search engine. You searched by category, honing down your query from broad to narrower criteria. Yahoo, of course, was primarily a web site like it is today, with a home page that you could customize to see the news and features of your choice.
Google, a brand new startup opened its headquarters in Mt. View. I rode my bike by there every day on my way to work and thought it might be a neat place to work. Google has no home page. It was intended to provide a search engine with clever algorithms to focus on exactly what your query wanted. Google has been optimizing that search engine all its 20 years of existence. Today, Google’s engine spans servers throughout the world, absorbing and indexing information internationally.
Google has some competitors (Microsoft’s Bing for example, and of course Yahoo.) I never stray from Google. It always gives me just what I’m looking for quickly, efficiently, happily. Google’s search interface has a sense of humor, evidenced by its graphics. Google provides online tutorials teaching you how to optimize your information so that Google will find and list your stuff as information answering a query or as advertisements. Google publishes lists of recommended Adwords you can use in your posts or your meta (hidden) keywords to help you compete with others vying for the same readership or audience. Colleges teach classes in Internet marketing that include practice in these techniques. I have taken such classes as part of Web Design training at Sessions College of Professional Design. Check out their program at www.sesssions.edu.
Search engines and SEO (search engine optimization) techniques are evolving. Keep searching Google for the latest techniques.