A Not-For-Profit Search Engine? That’s So Crazy It Just Might Work
May 4, 2016
The Common Search Project has a simple and straightforward mission statement. They want a nonprofit search engine, an alternative to the companies currently running the Internet (ahem, Google.) They are extremely polite in their venture, but also firmly invested in three qualities for the search engine that they intend to build and run: openness, transparency, and independence. The core values include,
“Radical transparency. Our search results must be explainable and reproducible. All our code is open source and results are generated only using publicly available data. Transparency also extends to our governance, finances and day-to-day operations. Independence. No single person, company or special interest must be able to influence the order of our search results to their benefit. … Public service. We want to build and operate a free service targeted at a large, mainstream audience.”
Common Search currently offers a Demo version for searching homepages only. They are an exciting development compared to the other David’s who have swung at Google’s Goliath. Common Search makes DuckDuckGo, the search engine focused on ensuring user privacy, look downright half-assed. They are calling for, and creating, a real alternative with a completely fresh perspective that isn’t solely about meeting user needs, but insisting on user standards related to privacy, control, and clarity of results.
Chelsea Kerwin, May 4, 2016