I’m launching a new linkblog, named Link Punk, which is primarily for articles and blog posts I find interesting and that I want to share, but that I don’t really have any commentary of my own to contribute.  It’s just a link to an article or blog post, which is different from the directory here at Indieseek.xyz where the index favors listing websites.

Anyway, the linkblog gives me a place to quickly share articles that don’t quite belong here in the directory.  There are a lot of ways to follow Link Punk on social networks, RSS feeds or even email and I’ve listed all that on the About page.

Thanks and have a great day!

 

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Bookmarked

Share Your Focus  |  Mojeek.com

 

Mojeek is open sourcing the templates for it’s Mojeek Focus feature.  Focus lets you define what websites you specifically want to search.  The templates are lists of the sites you want to search within this allows users to share these different specialized focus search engines with each other.  Example: you can make a Tolkien/LOTR search engine, a baseball search engine, an Indieweb search engine, etc.  I think you could also make a Focus template that would only search Neocities and other free hosting sites.  This is a bit like Yahoo’s old Rolly-o (sp?) service but more open.

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Back in 2019, I was bemoaning the loss of Technorati and other RSS search engines like Ice Rocket and I didn’t think we would see their like again.

Well now it’s 2024 and there has been a renewed interest in RSS feeds and low and behold somebody launched a shiny new RSS feed search engine named Feedle.  It’s pretty nice and I’ve gotten good results on my searches so far.

An RSS feed search engine isn’t going to replace general web search but it does compliment it and it’s handy to have in your search toolbox. This is important for blog discovery and a healthy independent blogging ecosystem.

It seems that Feedle does not just list any old feed.  They warn you upon submission of your RSS feed URL that it will be reviewed for quality.  I assume that means human review, which is a very good thing lest they get overrun by commercial dreck and snake oil salesmen.

Give Feedle a try and let me know what you think.

 

H/T: Colin Devroe via Mastodon.


Also posted on IndieNews

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I’m aware of the disagreement about the use of Brave Search API as a search source for the Kagi metasearch engine.

I’m sympathetic to both sides in this debate but I feel the need to point out that, right now, Kagi has very limited options available to it in trying to build a good meta-search engine, which is a worthy goal.

There are only a very few search engines that: 1) have their own index, 2) have an API for search results, 3) have an index big enough and an algo good enough to be useful,  4) have enough bandwidth to supply Kagi without crashing or lag.  You need all these things and that narrows the field real fast.  Off the top of my head you have these choices: Bing, Yandex, Mojeek, and Brave for general web search, with a couple of others that are in beta testing and not quite ready.

So Why Not Just Use Bing?

Because – everybody – everybody else is using Bing.  Yahoo uses Bing so does DuckDuckGo and so does many dozens of other search engines.  Kagi is trying to use a monthly subscription model to pay the bills instead of ads.  People are not going to pay a monthly fee to Kagi for yet another Bing retread.  Kagi needs something that is both good and unique which, right now means, they need to create a metasearch engine that uses multiple engines, they are: Yandex, Mojeek and Brave.

And points here to Kagi, they are paying the API fees for rights to use these search results rather than scraping.

So my point here is that Kagi’s attempt at putting together a worthy, multi engine, metasearch engine is a good thing.  The choices are limited and Kagi’s very reason for being is rolled up in it at least until some other search engines with their own indexes come along.  If Kagi waits around for every provider to be a saint that Kagi search engine will never get built.  Sometimes you just have to roll with what is available, now, when you need it.

Disclaimer:  I have no affiliation with Kagi search.  I don’t use Kagi search because I’m cheap and don’t want to be paying for yet another subscription.

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Just a quick note.

If you want to read some good coverage of the US vs Google monopoly trial I strongly recommend: Big Tech on Trial.

I think it’s better that you read that than me trying to unpack Google’s choke points on the Web because it’s not just their market share for search and ads, it’s many layers of control working up the Web food chain that when all put together gives Google an iron grip on the Web.

Things like:

  • Chrome Browser
  • Android
  • ChromeOS
  • Google’s Advertising network
  • Paying Apple to make Google the default search on iOS and macOS.
  • Google’s search market share.

It’s all these things combined and more which keep Google without competitors.

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Only it has a Different Name Curlie

 

Curlie.org the successor to the old defunct Dmoz Directory (aka Open Directory Project or ODP) has come out of hibernation and is ready to be used by you and me.  They are even accepting URL submissions and editor applications.  It looks like a lot of the old dead wood listings have been cleared out and new listings added in the categories.  And the whole site is usable and tidy.  With over 3 million sites listed Curlie is the largest human edited directory of the Web.

 

See, Dmoz/ODP was created as a legitimate aid for the navigation of the Web, back before search engines got good.  It never sold listings for the sake of link popularity with the search engines so it is of much higher quality than the thousands of later directories that were built with the express purpose of charging a fee for links in order to get better search engine rankings.  This makes Dmoz/ODP and now Curlie stand above the rest.

 

They Were Quiet

 

When AOL decided to shut down Dmoz a group of editors decided to use one of the last open source Dmoz data bundles and try to carry on with the Dmoz mission as a human edited directory.  Thus Curlie was born in 2017 as a successor to Dmoz.  Curlie was available but seemed dormant, you could not submit sites and there were a lot of dead listings.  But the editors were busy, getting rid of dead links and adding new ones over a few years.  This had to be a very big effort.

 

Now they are once again open and ready to be searched and browsed.  Browsing Curlie is fun, I suggest you explore.

 

I’ve said this before,  big directories cannot compete with search engines.  But human edited directories can discern quality, something that search engines still cannot do.  So there is still a place for them and I’m very glad that my favorite of all the really big directories has survived.

 

Good luck Curlie.  Do well.

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Read ( )

Read: Almost all searches on my independent search engine are now from SEO spam bots.  Searchmysite.net Blog.

 

That makes it especially tragic to report that nearly all the traffic to the site is now from SEO spam bots, presumably searching for all that elusive SEO spam-free content.

 

This is why we can’t have nice things.  Everything on the internet turns into a spam or ad infested flow.

 

I wish I could help this person but I don’t have the technical skills to help.

 

Getting human traffic:  Based on my experience with the directory, it takes a long time to get any traction with traffic from humans.  1. Having the blog helped and having articles that were more than site news helped.  2. For the directory traffic comes from a. webrings b. direct links from other websites c. social networks d, discussion groups e. other directories f. search engines supply some traffic to the blog only. SE’s don’t like listing directories.  I get quite a bit of search engine traffic to the blog from DuckDuckGo, Bing, Mojeek, Wiby, Google, Yandex and and some smaller engines including Searchmysite.net.  Together these add up to a steady little stream, but nowhere near commercial amounts of traffic.  I got to say social networks helped a lot at the very beginning.

 

Things we can all do to help Searchmysite.net:

  1. If you have a blog or a HTML static website with lots of text, add your site to the Searchmysite.net search engine.  Help grow his index.
  2. Try out Searchmysite.net.  Try it as a surf engine.  If you like it, add it to your blog roll or link page.

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Mojeek, the privacy respecting search engine that has it’s own crawler and index, has started it’s own community to get feedback and input from it’s users.  The community, located at community.mojeek.com, focuses on what Mojeek is doing, features, feature requests as well as general talk about web search, privacy, surveillance capitalism, web platforms and more.  The Discourse based forum is open to all.

 

This is a good move on Mojeek’s part.  Through discussion and interaction they can get a more nuanced idea of what their users want, don’t want and find important.  If you have preferences about what you expect from a web search engine you should register and give them your suggestions.

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Marginalia Search is a new web search engine worth bookmarking, using and paying attention to.  It has it’s own crawler, algo(s) and index.

What makes Marginalia Search different is it prefers text-heavy websites and penalizes sites made with modern web design.  This means it filters out commercial websites because those are the ones being churned out for commercial sales or as advertisement farms while it favors text-heavy weblogs and HTML sites.

Marginalia is about indexing the content web and ignoring the commercial web as much as possible so it’s mission is very similar to our own here at Indieseek.xyz.  Except as a crawling search engine, Marginalia uses much better technology and can scale better. This is a Good Thing, because one of the biggest complaints is that the Web has become boring and over commercialized.  Marginalia Search is trying to address this.

So far, I’m really liking what I see here.

I have added Marginalia Search to the directory in the following categories:

https://indieseek.xyz/links/internet/searching/search-engines/

https://indieseek.xyz/links/internet/searching/indiewebindexes/

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I am highlighting two search engines that are indexing the only Indie Web and/or Indieweb pages (please see below for my definitions of these terms.)  Each search engine is different from each other so I’m going to highlight both their similarities and differences.

Similarities

Both engines allow submissions of URL’s for inclusion.

Both engines are human reviewed at submission.  This is a good thing, because a human editor can fiter out spam and websites that just don’t belong better than any algorithm.

Both will recrawl at unknown intervals for changes and to detect dead URL’s.

Both crawl for onpage text and maybe meta tags.  I’m guessing here but this seems likely.  Therefore, they may not do so well indexing pages that are mainly, photos, artwork or images with very little text.

Both discover new pages/websites only by submissions and by URL’s added to the index that the human editor might add manually.  So neither has a general crawler that just keeps following hyperlinks like a general search engine crawler.

Both have a nice “Random” result link which is a handy and fun starting point to surf the web.

Differences

Wiby.me – Wiby is designed to index Indie Web (aka Independent Web) pages, like the old non-commercial HTML static pages of the 1990’s and early 2000’s.  It does not spider a whole website.  It only crawls the unique URL submitted.  So only one page.  Because of that it is not really designed to crawl non-commercial blogs.  Wiby’s suggestion for blog webmasters is to submit one or two really good posts if you want to be in the index.  Because it actually crawls onpage text this makes Wiby more sophisticated than a web directory like Indieseek.xyz and gives it a better search function.

Searchmysite.net – Searchmysite is designed to crawl deeper (maybe 50 pages or permalinks) within a single domain. (I don’t know how it treats subdomains.)  This makes it better at indexing Indieweb blogs and indeed, as I write this, most of Searchmysite’s index appears to be Indieweb blogs.  I cannot speak for the editor but I don’t see why Searchmysite would not also accept and crawl static HTML websites (ie. Retro or vintage HTML sites) so long as the site has some value and content that it can index, but they might not.  Again, this is going to be mainly text.  If you are looking for non-commercial blogs Searchmysite is the better option to start with.

Future of Indie Search

I’m highlighting these two niche search engines because in their own ways, they represent the future of Indie Web search.  I’d like to see many more of them.  Directories, like Indieseek.xyz, have their place, but being able to collect and search by,  actual on-page content goes far beyond what a traditional directory is capable of doing.  These guys could put me out of business and I’d be just fine with that!

 

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