I previously reviewed Mojeek.com in September, 2018.  (Note: I’m now posting all search related stuff here instead of on my personal blog.)  Since then there has been a lot of movement in the search industry, with an explosion of Bing Clones with only a few of those Bing Clones worth using.  Plus a smattering of new engines with their own indexes.

What makes Mojeek different is:

  1. Privacy – Mojeek was a privacy respecting search engine way before privacy became cool.
  2. Building their own index – this is really important because there are only three other large indexes of the Web in English: Google, Bing and Yandex.  Mojeek comes in at #4.

The combination of privacy respecting and having it’s own index are what makes Mojeek a potential, long term, big league player in the search engine business.

What has Changed Since 2018?

 

At first glance not much has changed since my original review above.  Mojeek still has the same ultra-clean look it had before.  The big changes come in the search results because Mojeek has been busy adding a couple of hundred servers: increasing their index size by crawling, and refreshing old pages in the index more often.

  • I’m seeing a fresh crawled date on at least one listing for every search I do.
  • I’m seeing that many other listings have been recrawled in the last few weeks so the index is fresher than ever.
  • There are definitely more pages in the index.

It’s Not Perfect

Mojeek has it’s spells of weirdness.  Note these 2 searches.

Example:

Search for “marlin firearms” brings up both the main website for Marlin in the organic results plus the Wikipedia entry in the sidebar.

Now look at a search for “savage firearms” and you see the Savage website in the organic results but this time no Wikipedia entry!  The problem lies with Wikipedia which, for some reason, lists Savage as “savage fire arms” (“fire arms” as two words) and Mojeek can’t bridge that gap.

The thing is when I first ran these searches I was looking for the Wikipedia entry, not the organic results, to get some history on these companies.  That’s why I noticed it.  Not a big deal just a little weird. However, do note that the organic results are pretty good, for both searches, and not exactly like the organic results Google or Bing would give you.  That’s a very good thing.

There will also be times when Mojeek just didn’t have the website I was looking for but it did return a cluster of websites that mention the name of the website I wanted.  I am not an expert but I take that as a sign that Mojeek’s crawler just has not indexed that site yet.  I used to see this a lot back in the early search engine era (when there were many search engines of varying sizes and even on Google when it was very young)  but younger web citizens who grew up with only all seeing Google might not have encountered this.

How I Use Mojeek

  • Mojeek is my default on my laptop, where 98% of my writing gets done.
  • I use it for most searches first.  If it does not give me what I need then I resort to another privacy engine as a backup.  Yes I often have to use the backup but Mojeek comes up with some good pages I would never get on G or B.
  • I use it go find Wikipedia articles.
  • Spell Checking: Okay this is embarrassing, I’m a terrible speller.  Mojeek has a great spell checker and I have one social network place I post at where my browser spell checker does not work, so I often use Mojeek to check the spelling of a word.  I have no idea if Mojeek’s spell checker is any better than any other but it works well and maybe the uncluttered results page makes it my preferred – crutch.
  • Navigational Searches.

Conclusion

I think I could get by with just Mojeek if I could only use one engine for some reason.  But that really is not the point.  Google and Bing are giving you their opinion of what the best pages are for a given search.  It’s just an opinion.  We should all be using several search engines for our research to get a broader view – more opinions.  Out of all the trillions of pages on the web it is ludicrous to think that the first 10, 20 or 30 results on Google are everything that needs to be said on a topic.  Every single search engine has a bias built into the algorithm in some way. Every. Single. One.  Which is exactly why you should use several search engines with different indexes.

Mojeek is growing into it’s role as a general web search engine.  Attempting to index the ever growing Web is a noble endeavor.  Their index has gotten much larger, fresher and their algo gives good results. As they grow, they will continue to get even better.

Back when I started on the Web in the 1990’s there were many major search engines, each showing just a part of the Web.  I commonly used a suite of my favorite search engines and directories just to find a few websites or pages.  Today my suite of privacy search engines consists of Mojeek, DuckDuckGo and once in a great while Startpage.  I think you should add Mojeek to your searching suite.

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