Before 1993 all of the websites in the world were listed on a hand written piece of paper which was then used to update one of the servers.
Servers are computers which have websites on them, and every time you connect to a website, your computer asks a server for a copy of the website, which the server then sends to your computer so that you can see it.
With the growing number of website out there, writing the websites down by hand was no longer a feasible way of doing things.
This is where search engines help, they look directly at the websites on all the available servers, and figures out which one is the one you want.
This meant that all the websites didn’t need to be recorded on one list and the internet could continue to grow quickly.