Searching with YaCy

Language evolves. Just like  “Xerox” became the verb meaning “make a photocopy”, “google” has evolved into a verb meaning to search the web using a search engine. Today we know that Google has its own agenda (much like Facebook does). Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to “google” without that agenda? Well, with YaCy you can do just that. Besides telling you about it, I am offering a free portal to use it on my dime.

From the YaCy home page we see

YaCy is a free search engine that anyone can use to build a search portal for their intranet or to help search the public internet. When contributing to the world-wide peer network, the scale of YaCy is limited only by the number of users in the world and can index billions of web pages. It is fully decentralized, all users of the search engine network are equal, the network does not store user search requests and it is not possible for anyone to censor the content of the shared index. We want to achieve freedom of information through a free, distributed web search which is powered by the world’s users.

To me, that sounds good. Good enough to give it a try. I started on my local machine. It installed easily but I could not get it to run in “senior mode” — that is, become part of the search pool of what they call the “freeworld”. With cheap web hosting available I decided to just rent a virtual machine to try it out. It has now been running about a day and appears to be a success. I encourage you to give it a try.

You can find it at either of these URLs:

I could have put it on port 80 but it really is more secure this way as well as totally trivial to install. Give it a try. If you like it you can add it to your web browser’s choice of search engines. Here is what I added to Vivaldi so that it can be called with a passed argument for the search term.