Click here to show or hide the menubar.

Home >  Archive >  2012 >  February >  4

Previous / Next

Back To The Future of Search
By Adam Curry on Saturday, February 04, 2012 at 7:13 AM.
[Google don't give me goats!] permalink
Imagine you could control Google Search for an entire day.  permalink
Really run with this. Here's a list of possible preferences: permalink
Make it return only the results you are interested in. permalink
No advertising permalink
No gamed SEO results permalink
Display perfectly for your screen or device permalink
Give priority to websites, domains and other parameters you determine permalink
Not push other Google properties like Google+into the results, unless it's from places there that you desire. permalink
Not have Google track what you are doing to determine your next search permalink
If you could have this for 24 hours, would you be willing to pay less than $2 for that? permalink
You can come pretty close for $1.92 a day. permalink
That's exactly the price I'm paying for all the features I listed above for running the my own YaCy search engine peer on a Rackspace hosted Server. permalink
Quick History permalink
Over the course of the past 2 years, I've slowly but surely been moving myself off all cloud services. permalink
A picture named NFS-Logo-verysm.jpgThe backstory was the sudden shutdown of, a service I not only supported and heavily promoted when it was struggling startup, but also used to store a lot of information. permalink
Facebook purchased the company for it's programming talent and shut down the service. permalink
The nature of the service (which I paid for btw) had resulted in an unorganized collection of 'drops' that contained audio files, shownotes, feedback from people and no way for me to find everything and download it, no matter how much time I had (they gave everyone 6 weeks.) permalink
So I decided to learn how to run my own servers, services and infrastructure. permalink
Its been quite a journey permalink
Since then I have built, configured and learned how to run the following services permalink
Mail Services (with sql based search) permalink
Blog permalink
linkblog/tweeter permalink
RSS feed generator permalink
RSS Aggregator permalink
Rivers Of News permalink
Content Management System permalink
Dropbox clone permalink
Auto Syndicator permalink
URL Shortener permalink
DNS Management permalink
I think its an impressive list. permalink
Most of this came from following the EC2 for Poets program, which includes open source software and instructions on how to install and maintain it on solid infrastructure from Amazon or any other Hosting provider. permalink
The only thing missing was my own search. (Well, maps are also a big deal, but that will be a future project) permalink
Its hard to beat Google Search. For me GS had become an all you can eat command line natural language magic box. permalink
Its browser integration is seamless, ubiquitous, and its fast. permalink
But then things changed permalink
Google Search started to suck. permalink
Results became muddled with information gleaned from other Google services, like Google+ permalink
The interface became annoying, with javascript 'features' that pop screenshots if I'm not careful where I place my mouse. permalink
Results are now filled with 'News', that I have no way of filtering out. permalink
I don't get the same results as other people using the same search terms or in a different location, which means Google is making decisions for me that I may not want or agree with. permalink
And the final straw is their new Terms of Service, that is clearly created to track more of my behavior for their profit. permalink
All fine and dandy, but I'm opting out. permalink
Since there's no option to pay Google for the actual service I want, as described in my wish list, I'm happy to pay for the joy of running it myself. permalink
Enter YaCy permalink
I first heard about the peer to peer search network YaCy about a year ago, and recently the got a lot of typical tech press that consisted of the usual 'Can it kill Google' bullcrap, written by copy/pasters who had never tried to install, configure and run the software themselves. I know this with certainty. Why? because it isn't trivial and probably won't work for most first timers out of the box. permalink
I spent the past week, a lot of it in semi all-nighters figuring out how to make it work, scouring the wiki's, forums and blogposts. permalink
No surprise that Google search results weren't very helpful :-) permalink
But in the end, I persevered and have been using my own custom built and configured search engine for about a week now and am extremely happy with the results. permalink
Weed Wackers permalink
A picture named Goat.jpgJohn C Dvorak invented a search engine test. He does a lot of gardening and has always wanted to find honest reviews on the best weed wackers. If a search engine can perform this task properly, without throwing a multitude of covert ads for wackers into the stream, then you have a properly configured and useful search engine. permalink
Here's a screenshot of my personal search engine, which I've named ACYACY, next to Google, competing in the Weed Wacker test. permalink
I like what I'm getting from ACYACY. In particular the real user reviews, information from specialists and even a suggestion to use goats. Although I appreciate Google's consumer reports link, the CR page and just about everything else on the page is trying to sell me a weed wacker. permalink
Bear in mind that my search engine is configured to my personality, it indexes and gives priority to sites I trust to link to valuable sources. permalink
I really love the Goats idea. I think I'll give John one for his birthday. permalink
Poets permalink
My next steps will be to document the setup and configuration of ACYACY for folks like me. A poets guide similar to the one I enjoyed using so much for my other applications and infrastructure. permalink
And I shall of course call it YaCy for Poets. permalink

This site contributes to the community river.

© Copyright 1997-2012 Adam Curry. Last update: Saturday, February 04, 2012 at 7:30 AM GMT. Last build: 5/8/2012; 2:46:41 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

RSS feed for

Previous / Next