The elves that build search engines are really kicking into high gear, and I’m loving it.  If you have been following my writings for awhile you know that I want a Web with 5 to 8 major search engines and bunches of smaller search engines and hundreds of directories.  The Web is being harmed by having a Google and Bing duopoly controlling the gateways to the Web.  So I’m rooting for all search engines with their own indexes and crawlers and I’m always on the lookout for new contenders.

 

The following have been added to the directory.

 

Small Search Engines

 

  1. Alexandria Search – being developed as a non-profit. It’s index comes from the Common Crawl so it’s in the billions of pages.  No crawler is mentioned on the website so I’m going to guess they totally rely on Common Crawl for additions to the index.  I’m impressed by their algo.  I’m getting really good results considering they don’t have a humongous index.  This is one to watch
  2.  Yep – this is a beta commercial search engine started by an SEO tools company.  The company already has crawlers scouring the web building reports about who is linking to who for SEO purposes.  And they had crawl data going way back.  Somebody decided that they could expand what their crawler already collects to include data about each page like a real search engine.  Since they are crawling anyway this search engine makes a heck of a lot of sense.  Results are mixed but I expect them to improve because these are SEO’s and they do know a lot about search ranking.  You can tel with the current results that a lot of their data is linking data but the results are interesting,  This is another one to watch.

 

Really Small Search Engines

 

These are small and not really usable – yet.  But you have to start somewhere.  These have their own crawlers and are building their own indexes so major points for that.

  1. Bloopish
  2. Crawlson

 

 

Again hat-tip to Seirdy for these.

 

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FLASH, I’ve been carping about the Web needing more webring hosts for awhile, only to discover a new small startup webring host webri.ng on Hacker News discussion.  This is definitely a good step for the Web Revival.

 

Webri.ng is fairly basic, it does not have all the features of the big legacy hosts like Webringo.  But it has enough to create and run a ring.

 

Why is a Webring Host Important?

 

Most modern webrings are controlled by a code that  the ring owner has to install on their own website or server in order to start one webring.  A webring host is like the old original Webring.org or Ringsurf.com they power webrings using their own servers.  Not just one ring but many.  What this means is that anyone who wants to start a webring can do so and only needs an email address and know a little bit of HTML.  You don’t need to install Javascript on your site and you do not need to mess with Github pull requests and the like.  Anyone joining your hosted webring just needs an email address and again a little HTML knowledge.  IMHO it lowers the bar to entry and makes it much easier for many webrings to be started and maintained.

 

Just to be clear: I’m not knocking the various new scripts for creating single webrings.  I think they are important for those who know how to use them.  They also have the advantage of being decentralized.  But I think the web revival needs both homebrew webrings and third party remote hosts to really get webrings back in the public eye and popular.

I hope you give webri.ng a lookover for your next ring.

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I have been reviewing a lot of retroweb (yesterweb) type static HTML sites lately.  These harken back to the Geocities sites of old and it was great fun seeing what is being built.  Most of these are being hosted on Neocities which is trying to revive what we lost with the demise of Geocities.

Static Web Hosting

I ran across another small free host for static homepages: Vistaserv out of Australia which is like a much smaller version of Neocities.  You only get one page for free but it has a HTML builder and they seem keen to have people build a homepage.  Neocities has an active community going while Vistaserv seems more quiet, and sometimes quiet is preferred by introverts.  Vistaserv strikes me as a good place for the homepage for a webring or something.

Remotely Hosted Guestbooks and Other CGI for Your Static Site

I noticed many static sites I reviewed have guestbooks just like they did in the old days.  But static websites can’t run Perl or Php so they have to use remotely hosted scripts.  Once upon a time there were many dozens of companies that provided remotely hosted scripts but it looks like most died off after the death of Web 1.0 and the rise of the corporate-slick Web 2,0.  I’ve managed to hunt down a few though and placed them all in the Hosted Tools category.  While we think of these things as tools for static sites, even some blog owners might want to have a guestbook and may need to use a third party hosted guestbook.

That’s it for now.  Have fun building the Web.

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Link additions continue.  About 25 new listings as of today derived from rooting through my old bookmarks, my web prowling and webmaster submissions.

New Directories Listed!

 

  • i.webthings directory – a curated directory of non-commercial websites, which I knew about but somehow overlooked adding.  I like the slick, neat layout.
  • Webring Directory – Dang. There is a heck of a lot of new webrings out there!  You can add yours if it’s not listed.
  • The WebRings Fanlisting – a very nice, extensive link list of webrings.
  • Yesterlinks Directory – a human reviewed directory of non-commercial websites. You can sort categories, search it, and add your URL.  I find it refreshing that they do not require a link back before listing.

 

In other news, I added a new quote to my collection. Only I know which one it is. 🙂

 

I added two new pages:

Top Articles – this to help resurface some old articles from 2018 that got buried.  People are starting to build some small directories again so I thought I’d spotlight them in case they help.

How to Add URL –  to replace a page that got garbaged in some past update of the directory script.

 

That’s it for now.  Have fun out there.

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I have added quite a few new listings.  Some are submissions and some are editorial adds.

 

Also added are some new categories:

Amtrak: under Recreation > Travel  I added some useful guides for traveling on Amtrak rail.  Because we have to decrease our use of cars and airplanes for travel so be need to start figuring out how we can use Amtrak.

Europe: under News  I found these useful and not overly commercial.

 

I also added a couple of search engines to the existing category.

 

Source for the additions is Seirdy’s excellent guide: A look at search engines with their own indexes.  I did not list everything Seirdy does because many are so new and experimental they are not yet useful or interesting for the general public and frankly may not survive.

 

Other Site News:

I finally spotted Applebot crawling in the directory.  This means Apple is still crawling which I think is a good thing.

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I added some new search engines to the directory here.  What makes these worth listing is they all have their own index.  This makes them unique even though the index may currently be small.

  1. GoWiki – Small, growing, privacy.
  2. Petal Search – New commercial search engine from Huawei.  I think their index is fairly large.  I don’t know if they are using another search engine (maybe Yandex?) for backfill. Assume it is not private.
  3. Plumb One – Index is small, growing.  Plumb uses Bing to provide search results when their own index does not have enough listings.
  4. Right Dao – Small, growing, uncensored, privacy.
  5. Search My Site – Open source, lists personal and independent websites only. This is a curated index.  Only crawls sites that are submitted and only after human review.  I like this one.  The front page suggests searching for hobbies or interests and my searches of “role playing” and “indieweb” brought up lots of interesting results.

All are listed in the directory under Search Engines or Indie Web Indexes.

Hat tip to Seirdy for making me aware of most of these new search engines.

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New Listings

 

Love is Zero – Is a site submitted by the owner just today.  What makes it stand out to me is it’s a really well done fusion of Geocities type sites translated to WordPress.  It just gives out a great ’00’s vibe while also taking advantage of some of the extra features WordPress provides.  Also, there is a lot of original fan fiction and resource listings and a blog, all in a very talented and attractive website.  Recommended.

What’s also cool is this site and it’s peers are intended to be found by surfing with “affiliates” and “elite affiliates” and other meticulous hyperlinking.  This is how we surfed the web back in the old days and it’s great to see webmasters still doing it.

Love is Zero is listed under > Personal Pages.

Moreover, Love is Zero led me to a bunch of non-commercial small directories.

 

All these directories have been added to the directory under Internet > Searching > Specialized.

Some of these have been around for a long time.  They are what the web and hyperlinking are all about: helping people to navigate the web.  In this instance they help non-commercial personal and hobby sites get found.  It’s like there is this semi-covert web surfing network just below to the surface.  Google has abandoned them for Brand Names and commercial sites only care about themselves and money and yet here we have a bunch of good little directories linking us to the fun sites that I call “the street fair of the web”.  These little directories and the sites they list are the true Independent Web, it never went away, it’s still here.

 

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Bookmarked

Bookmark: A Webring Kit | Max Bock

This lets you set up, and manage your own webring on Github.  I presume you need to be a Github member to do this and know about things like pull requests (which I don’t).  Points to creator Max Bock for innovation on figuring this out.

I added this to the directory in Webrings.

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I and a few others have been wrestling with the whole issue of discovery of non-commercial blogs and websites and how to keep said efforts relatively low tech and low cost to stay within the reach of the average user.  Keeping in mind that we are down to only two major search engines with their own indexes, that act as gatekeepers for the English speaking world, and we need to have a guerrilla web discovery movement.

Our answer at this time is: some sort of small curated directory.*

But it’s hard to encourage people who are alone and unsure to build a directory of any sort without a support community to learn, find resources and talk shop in.

Therefore, I’ve put together a: Tiny Web Directory Forum, for anyone interested.   Topics will be both practical about building and running directories, but also about non search engine ways of discovery and theory.  If interested, join and participate.

What we are not about: is setting up directories for link popularity or SEO.

 

*Note: For the purposes of this announcement I’m defining “directories” as directories, linkblogs, extensive link lists, webrings, things that are hybrids of directories and search engines, blogrolls etc. In short, alternate ways of navigating the web.

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