[LINK] YaCy, open source search engine

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Tue Nov 29 21:05:54 AEDT 2011

YaCy takes on Google with open source search engine
(Good idea, stupid name)

By Iain Thomson in San Francisco Posted in Software, 29th November 2011

A project calling itself YaCy – pronounced "ya see" – aims to break 
Google’s headlock on the search market by giving away an open source 
search engine that can be used both online and within an intranet.

 <http://yacy.net/en/index.html>  and  <http://search.yacy.net/>

The YaCy engine is based on peer-to-peer connections rather than search 
queries being run thorough a central server. Users download the software 
and act as peers for search, ensuring that no content can be censored and 
no search results can be recorded and analyzed on central servers.

"Most of what we do on the Internet involves search. It's the vital link 
between us and the information we're looking for. For such an essential 
function, we cannot rely on a few large companies, and compromise our 
privacy in the process," said YaCy project leader Michael Christen in a 


"YaCy's free search is the vital link between free users and free 
information. YaCy hands control over search back to us, the users."

Once installed, the computer sorts out its own individual search indexes 
and rankings, and all search requests are encrypted to ensure user 

Version one of the software has now been released, and so far over 1.4 
billion documents have been indexed and 130,000 searches carried out. 

As of mid-afternoon Pacific time, the site’s web portal for search
<http://search.yacy.net/> was struggling under the load of interested 
users, but it should be back to robust health shortly.

"We are moving away from the idea that services need to be centrally 
controlled. Instead, we are realising how important it is to be 
independent, and to create infrastructure that doesn't have a single 
point of failure," said Karsten Gerloff, president of the Free Software 
Foundation Europe. 

"In the future world of distributed, peer-to-peer systems, free software 
search engines like YaCy are a vital building block."

There won’t be any chewed fingernails at Mountain View or Redmond any 
time soon, but YaCy is an interesting bit of software, albeit one with a 
lot of work still to be done. SEO poisoning, for example, will have to be 
addressed if the application becomes popular, and legal problems may 
ensue with some search terms.

Nevertheless, the call is out for developers and coders to help develop 
the system further, and this is just the kind of project that could get 
the open source community motivated. ®


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