JumpStation was the first WWW search engine that behaved, and appeared to the user, the way current web search engines do. It started indexing on Sunday 12 December 1993 and was announced on the Mosaic "What's New" webpage on 21 December 1993. It was hosted at the University of Stirling in Scotland.
It was written by Jonathon Fletcher, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire who graduated from the University with a first class honours degree in Computing Science in the summer of 1992 and has subsequently been named "father of the search engine".
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. At this point the database had 275,000 entries spanning 1,500 servers.
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. However, JumpStation had the same basic shape as Google search 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, and presented its results in the form of a list of URLs that matched those keywords.
- Why we nearly McGoogled it Metro, March 15, 2009
- Archive of email sent to Matt Gray
- Archive of NCSA's What's New, December 1993
- The Web Robots Pages: JumpStation
- Robots, Spiders and Wanderers: Finding Information on the Web archived March 28, 2009 from the original
- Miller, Joe (September 3, 2013). "Jonathon Fletcher: forgotten father of the search engine". BBC News. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- Googling was born in Stirling The Scotsman, 15 March 2009
- "Jonathon Fletcher: forgotten father of the search engine". BBC News. 3 September 2013.
- Matrix, Search Engines: JumpStation archived March 28, 2009 from the original
- 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).
- Best of the Web '94: Best Navigational Aid Best of the Web
- Adam Wishart and Regula Bochsler: Leaving Reality Behind: etoys v eToys.com, and other battles to control cyberspace, Ecco, 2003, ISBN 0-06-621076-3.