A recent article called Search Engine History – Web Search Before Google
Although it didn’t have a public face (as far as I remember), I think of IBM’s Clever as the forefather of today’s internet search. It was built around hubs and authorities before Google.
Too bad LookSmart doesn’t get a mention in this article (and Yahoo does). We powered parts or all of directory search for MSN, Excite, AltaVista.
Note that Snap/NBCi where I worked comes in with a whopping 1.58% market share!