AlthoughGoogle is the one celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, thesearch giant decided to give us all a little present this week with thelaunch of a fully useable archived version of its search index – circa January 2001.

Dueto “boring” technical issues, the Mountain View, Calif.-based Googlewas not able to offer a 1998 replica of its search engine, but afterone test spin with “Google 2001,” we’ll overlook that.

Likeother Google apps (see Google Earth), this tool will certainly be atime suck for users fascinated with the history of the World Wide Web.Here’s a couple of interesting points after about an hour of searching:

A search query for “YouTube” – which nets 1.1 billion results today – gives users zero hits

– The number one result on a search for “iPod” is about something called “The Image Proof of Deposit Document Processing System”

– MySpace is a free file storage service offering users 50 MBs

I’ll won’t spoil the rest of the fun that you’re bound to have using this search time capsule.

Oneword of warning though, when you click on any of Google 2001’s vintageWeb page results, you are taken to the 2008 incarnation of the site.However, Google cleverly teamed up with the Internet Archive, so youcan actually view the earliest 2001 copy of the Web results as well.

As I conducted more retro Google searches, I eventually stumbled upon an archived version of our own IT World Canada Web site.

Someof the top stories included an in-depth comparison of the Palm versusthe Pocket PC, a study outlining the labour shortage in the ITindustry, and a story about the future of Windows. I find it incrediblyamusing that we were writing about Microsoft’s soon-to-be-released OScodenamed Whistler (later renamed Windows XP) and fact that it didn’tfeature an upgrade path from Windows 95. The more things change themore they stay the same, I guess.

The Google 2001 site will only be available for one month, so try it out before it’s gone.

And please don’t hestitate to post some of your most interesting finds in our comment section below. Happy hunting!