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Jump Station
Type of site
Web search engine
Available inEnglish
OwnerJonathon Fletcher
Launched12 December 1993; 30 years ago (1993-12-12)
Current statusDefunct/Closed 1994

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 12 December 1993[2] and was announced on the Mosaic "What's New" webpage on 21 December 1993.[3] It was hosted at the University of Stirling in Scotland.

It was written by Jonathon Fletcher, from Scarborough, England,[4][5] who graduated from the University with a first class honours degree in Computing Science in the summer of 1992[6] and has subsequently been named "father of the search engine".[7]

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 1,500 servers.[8]

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.[8][9] 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,[10] and presented its results in the form of a list of URLs that matched those keywords.


JumpStation was nominated for a "Best Of The Web" award in 1994[11] and the story of its origin and development written up, using interviews with Fletcher, by Wishart and Bochsler.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Why we nearly McGoogled it Metro, 15 March 2009
  2. ^ Archive of email sent to Matt Gray
  3. ^ Archive of NCSA's What's New, December 1993
  4. ^ The Web Robots Pages: JumpStation
  5. ^ Robots, Spiders and Wanderers: Finding Information on the Web archived 28 March 2009 from the original
  6. ^ a b Googling was born in Stirling The Scotsman, 15 March 2009
  7. ^ Miller, Joe (3 September 2013). "Jonathon Fletcher: forgotten father of the search engine". BBC News. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  8. ^ a b Matrix, Search Engines: JumpStation archived 28 March 2009 from the original
  9. ^ SearchEngineHistory.com
  10. ^ 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).
  11. ^ Best of the Web '94: Best Navigational Aid Best of the Web
  12. ^ 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.