back to article YaCy takes on Google with open source search engine

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. The YaCy engine is based on peer-to-peer connections rather than search queries being run thorough a central server. Users …


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  1. Stephen 2

    While the rest of the world is moving into the cloud

    these guys are going backwards.

    Personally I don't want to store my files in the cloud. But basic services like search engines should really stay in the cloud, in the browser. I don't want to download anything to do web searches.

    1. Stoneshop

      Not backwards at all

      This time it's not Amazon's, or Google's, or $whateverlargecorp's cloud, it's *your* cloud as *your* machine is part of it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Way to miss the point.

      Next week Stephen watches the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final, and says 'But there are only 13 players on each side!'

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do a search for 'Google'... no results returned. hrmm, maybe not so uncensored.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks interesting but might give it a couple of months before installing their peer software juuuust incase they haven't secured it as well as they'd hoped. Installing a web server that someone else has created on one of my machines is something that can wait until other people have learned any hard lessons that might be lurking out there.

  4. dogged

    I'm in. This needs doing.

  5. Liam Thom


    Searched for "web designers isle of wight" and got the Yell page for jewellers as the only result. They may need to tweak their algorithms just a fraction.

    1. . 3

      You know what to do...

      So get involved and so some tweaking ;-)

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward


    The Peer to Peer element means it wil be blocked by most corporate web filters.

  7. andy 45
    Thumb Down

    Google is a stupid name...

    ...that is all.

  8. atomic jam

    Title "Optional"

    Again, interesting, use it along side other search engines, and who knows, albeit, my Internet connection is slow as fuck, so to quote B.A from the A Team "I pity the fool who depends on my connection"

    Need to get back to work and do whatever it is that I do.

    Icon. because its cold in here.

  9. Ole Juul

    It's a goo thing

    I applaud any attempt to add new possibilities for internet search. I don't care if it's not perfect.

    1. Aaron Em

      How nice for you!

      My time is of value, and I'm not going to waste it on something which has even less credibility than "please give us 200 more grand, oh, also, our main guy is dead now" Diaspora.

  10. Fading

    I'm in

    I have a spare machine not doing anything at the moment - count me in.

  11. GatesFanbois

    Wow this sounds so... cuil

    The post is required, and must contain letters.

  12. Zolko Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    "legal problems may ensue with some search terms"


    what do you mean ? Some words are taboo, some searches must be forbidden ? If anything, *this* is the best part of it.

    1. Woodgar

      RE: 1984


      Surely this is one of the major benefits of such a system. It's distributed with no single point of control so can not be censored.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Others have tried to take on Google...

    ...others have faceplanted. Remember Cuil? No, that's right, you don't. I wish it well, but I won't hold my breath.

  14. Eddie Edwards


    "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."

    Yay, because that's exactly the features that corporations want on intranet search.


  15. Ed Mozley

    I suggested something very similar this to Google on 10th June 2010...

    ...and they never got back to me!

    "Would it be possible to write either a Chrome plugin or make an addition to the Google Toolbar that allows you to click a button that indexes the current page you are viewing and uploads to google servers. Obviously safety measures would have to be put in place to stop people clicking the button too much and clogging up the system but it could be a revolutionary new approach!"

  16. Gazmataz

    El Reg Who?

    Just installed it on an old machine and the big problem I see staright away is that it takes 30-60 seconds to load the results page?!?

    And when it does finally get their the results are less than impressive. A search for our favourite tech new site and it doesn't appear on the first page of results, even if some people might argue what the register page of is more important but we know better!

    On google it's the first result of the first page .... (just saying) ... maybe by watching what I search for they know what I want? I guess this software could learn as well, but not a great out of the box experience.

    1. Ben 42

      Not surprised

      I thought about trying to do what YaCy is doing years ago*, but I don't see any practical way to do it with existing hardware and connections. How big is Google's index? Petabytes? Maybe more these days? Even if you can distribute that to enough different systems, how do you give everyone access to that data fast enough to make it usable? A huge part of Google's engineering effort seems to go into making their server farms able to process that data and get it back to the user. And that's with data centers they can control and optimize. How do you do that with flaky internet and crappy, spyware-crippled systems that most users have?

      While I think the concept is great, I just don't think it will work well enough. I'd love to be wrong and if they pull it off it will be an immense triumph, but I don't see it happening.

      *And I'm sure I wasn't the first or the smartest to come up with the idea, so the fact that it hasn't been done yet lends credence to the rest of my post IMHO. As do the experiences reported in teh comments so far.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looking forward to 'helping' in a way that means all my sites come out on top

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With every new development... functions less like a search engine and more like a "you typed in something but never mind, why don't I give you links for unrelated stuff that other people like" engine. If YaCy can establish itself, I think there could be an opening for a search engine which searches for what you ask it to search for, doesn't shove ads in your face, and doesn't agree to censor content on behalf of dodgy governments.

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