Tag Archives: search engines

yacy search popularity

Can YaCy Compete Against Google?

You’ve heard about Yacy – the new peer to peer search engine, right?

In a nutshell, they believe that Google (and bing and yahoo – to a lesser extent) have become the ‘gatekeepers’ of information on the internet, allowing access only to the content they deem worthy. On their site they declare:

Only a decentralized search engine technology can ensure free access to knowledge

…and honestly, it’s hard to find fault with that statement.

That’s what YaCy is attempting to be. An open-source, decentralized, peer to peer search engine that eliminates both tracking and censorship. That’s right – this search engine is powered only by the processing power of the computers that are running it.

Always one to help out the open-source community, I decided to give it a try. After clearing out some hard drive space (it asks that 30 gigs of free space be available on the drive you’re installing to – I’m not sure why, and I’m not sure I want to know why, either), I installed YaCy without any real issues. Installation took less than a minute, and I’m running a Windows desktop. It also runs on Mac and linux, for all you hipsters and geeks.

Eco-saving, peer to peer powered search may sound great in theory, but in real life it’s pretty darn sluggish to use when only a few thousand people are running it. It also makes searching for anything an exercise in frustration as the content of the search engines itself and the ranking of the sites included is entirely left up to the community of YaCy users. After 5 minutes of attempting to get a single search result, I quit. Unfortunately, it continued to run in the background for another 10 minutes or so before finally closing.

So, is there a chance that YaCy can actually gain momentum and be a small ray of sunshine to fight back the ever growing shadow of our dark search overload – Google?  For the answer, let’s check out the search volume query popularity of  ‘YaCy’ during the last 30 days and see how much steam it’s gained.

yacy search popularity
bummer.

Well, that sucks. Guess we can just move on, now.

google autocomplete search

Google Search Results Fixed? Uh…..not really.

google autocomplete searchGoogle’s feeble attempt to prevent scam businesses from appearing at the top of natural search fails.

By now, you should have already read the much talked about NYT’s article that blames Google for allowing ‘bad businesses’ to rank higher than ‘legitimate’ ones. Well, the folks over at Google must not have liked that story too much because less than one week later, they are stating that they’ve solved the problem.

“In the last few days we developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, in our opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience. The algorithm we incorporated into our search rankings represents an initial solution to this issue, and Google users are now getting a better experience as a result.” – Amit Singhal, Google Fellow

Well go on with your bad self, Google. Nice to see you jump to action when it’s your name getting bad press. But let’s not just take their word at face value. I already verified the search for ‘lafonts glasses’ came back with pretty clean results, but let’s check a bit deeper, shall we?

Referring back to the NYT story, Mr. Vitaly Borker blames Google for his high ranking, agreeing with the reporter that something’s wrong:

“Look,” he says, grabbing an iPad off a small table. He types “Christian Audigier,” the name of a French designer, and “glasses” into Google. DecorMyEyes pops up high on the first page.“Why am I there?” he asks, sounding both peeved and amazed. “I don’t belong there. I actually outrank the designers own website”

Looks like we found a good place to start the investigation.

Google search resultshmmm..looks like Christian’s site is still pretty low down there. But on the plus side, I don’t see decormyeyes.com listed anymore. I guess popularglasses.com must be legit – let’s check their reviews!

popularglasses.com search results

hmmm…kind of hard to tell from these mixed reviews. Let’s just check if they’ve had any bad reviews from ‘that site‘. (I refuse to link to them or even mention them by name, but I will show you a picture).

popularglasses com scam results and complaints

well, my my my! The bad press on these guys fills up the whole first page of search results,  yet they rank 1st in the SERPs when I type in ‘christian audigier glasses’. What’s that I smell?

FAIL.

Now, I’m going to try and be somewhat fair here. Let’s try this again with a more recognizable brand – say, Coach?

search results for coach glasses

No popularglasses.com listings here – #1 belongs to go-optic.com so let’s see what we get when we look them up:

ripoff search for go-optic

Hmmm…I guess Google shouldn’t have spoke so soon, eh?

Final Thoughts

As much as I love to hate Google, I have a hard time blaming them for every bad site that appears high in the rankings. While I feel bad for the lady that got ripped off, the simple truth is that users need to become more discerning before making a purchase from a company they know little about.

Why the Internet Crime Complaint Center doesn’t act on shutting down sites like these is beyond me. But no matter, as the Feds have already started siezing domain names for sites that have allegedly violated copyright law. NOW I feel better.

Is Google really interested in cleaning up its search results or is it a lost cause? What do you think?