World-Wide Web Worm

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The World-Wide Web Worm (WWWW) is claimed to be the first search engine for the World-Wide Web, 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.

The worm created a database of 300,000 multimedia objects which could be obtained or searched for keywords via the WWW. In contrast to present-day search engines, the WWWW featured support for Perl regular expressions.

The website,, is no longer accessible.


Oliver A. McBryan. GENVL and WWWW: Tools for Taming the Web. Research explained at First International Conference on the World Wide Web. CERN, Geneva (Switzerland), May 25-26-27 1994.

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.