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This chapter describes the genesis of search engine technologies, beginning with early services such as Archie, Gopher, Veronica, and Jughead, which were used to search content contained on FTP servers, and ending with today’s modern search engines. An overview of information retrieval research, both from an academic and industrial perspective, is then described, providing insights into the rapidly evolving nature of research into search engine technologies. The chapter then describes the importance of features, and how feature-based retrieval models came to arise as the result of a paradigm shift in information retrieval technology. The chapter then concludes by describing the desired characteristics that a robust, powerful feature-based retrieval framework should embody.