I've been running the yacy search engine
for the past six months. Recently, it's received a bit of [news and
press](https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=yacy+news) attention. I
mostly use yacy to crawl sites I care about searching. It is an easy
way to crawl the sites, find the content faster, and not give up all
my queries to Google/Bing/DuckDuckGo all of the time. It seems to also
help the larger network. It's also interesting to see the unfiltered,
differently ranked, and un-manipulated search results. As more yacy search
peers have come online, the results are surprisingly more relevant. It's
not a replacement for Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo yet, but for my
preferred sites (Tor, Debian, FreeBSD, etc) it's been great. I don't
have to remember URLs anymore, just search terms.
In some ways, it brings me back to the very early days of
TechTarget, known then as 'searchhitech'
and then 'techhubs'. We used to run the enterprise version of
AltaVista search engine. Later we switched
to an Inktomi appliance. In both cases, crawling the web in 1999 and 2000
needed lots of curating, care, and feeding. The software would crash
all of the time when it wasn't filling up disk space, or consuming all
available RAM, CPU, and network bandwidth. It's nice to see that search
technology has progressed in the age of Google. Yacy is mostly just
point it and forget it. It runs, without issues. And it is peer to peer
as a bonus.
originally published at wiki.lewman.is