TL;DR: I now support searching my site using IndieWeb Search rather than my own custom search engine. You’ll still be able to search my site as normal. But my search engine has moved to indieweb-search.jamesg.blog.
I started my journey into personal website search about two months ago. I wanted to make it easier for other people to search my website and find blog posts that may interest them. I decided that existing solutions did not meet my needs so I decided to build my own search engine. This search engine was previously available at search.jamesg.blog.
Applying my search engine code to an IndieWeb Search engine
With the infrastructure required to operate a search engine in place, I have been thinking a lot about broader applications of the code I wrote. While my search engine was built just for my own content, I started to think whether I could use my same code to create a search engine that let you find content on other sites too. I thought about this idea for days before finally deciding to create a search engine for the IndieWeb, a community of which I am a part.
For those who are not familiar with the IndieWeb, we are a community of people who have our own websites. While a number of participants code, being able to code is by no means a requirement to join the community. You just need to have your own website or be interested in setting one up. There are plenty of people n the IndieWeb community who can help you navigate the ins and outs of building a personal site.
I love the diversity of websites on the IndieWeb but existing methods of discovery are not optimal for finding information that meets a specific query. We have a webring that lets you find new websites and even another search engine but not one that met my needs. I expanded my personal site search engine code so that anyone could find a site created by an IndieWeb community member.
Getting started with the new search engine
For those who used to use search.jamesg.blog, the only thing that has changed is the place you need to go. Click on the “Search” link in my navigation bar if you want to go to the search engine and you will be taken to the new page. The link in my navigation bar will take you to a special version of the IndieWeb search engine that will only let you see results from my site. The core functionality of the search engine is the same as the old one: enter a query and you will be presented with a list of search results that meet your query.
If you want to search the IndieWeb, go to indieweb-search.jamesg.blog. This link will let you search any website on the IndieWeb. My search engine is by no means comprehensive. About 200 web sites are available to search in the search engine. Only a maximum of 1,000 pages are in the search database for each site. This rule is important because it means I can serve content from a vast range of websites easily.
Curious where to start? Why don’t you go to the IndieWeb search engine and try some of these queries:
- What is accessibility?
- What are microformats?
- OAuth Simplified
- Aeropress Recipe
- site:”calumryan.com” accessibility
You’ll see results from both my site and the other few hundred that are on the IndieWeb search engine.
If you are curious about how this project works, all of the code is now open-source on GitHub. I shall write more information about how the search engine works in the future when I find the time so that you do not need to read into my code to understand how it works on a high level.
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