Wiby Search

May 29, 2020

DarkCyber noted the existence of Wiby, a throwback Web search system, in 2017. The idea for the service is to process queries. The queries are matched to shorter or old-fashioned Web pages. Let’s take a look at queries run on May 28, 2020, for some current hot topics. Wiby may be a precursor of the small Web movement. More details about this type of thinking appear in “Rediscovering the Small Web.”

Here’s the query for “Inca stone quarry” and the results:

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The results are not directly related to the Inca or quarries. The system did return an off color headline “Results of Suck Off Between Eminem, Rolling Stone, and the Grammy’s.” DarkCyber doubts the relevance methodology used by Wiby.

A less arcane query “Ryzen 3950x” retrieved these results:

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One similarity between each result set is the appearance of the morpheme “suck.” DarkCyber finds this interesting. The results are off point.

There is also some basic information about the service on the unlinked About page. We learned:

Search engines like Google are indispensable, able to find answers to all of your technical questions; but along the way, the fun of web surfing was lost. In the early days of the web, pages were made primarily by hobbyists, academics, and computer savvy people about subjects they were interested in. Later on, the web became saturated with commercial pages that overcrowded everything else. All the personalized websites are hidden among a pile of commercial pages. Google isn’t great at finding those gems, its focus is on finding answers to technical questions, and it works well; but finding things you didn’t know you wanted to know, which was the real joy of web surfing, no longer happens. In addition, many pages today are created using bloated scripts that add slick cosmetic features in order to mask the lack of content available on them. Those pages contribute to the blandness of today’s web. The Wiby search engine is building a web of pages as it was in the earlier days of the internet. In addition, Wiby helps vintage computers to continue browsing the web, as page results are more suitable for their performance. What’s the upside of Wiby? The system does generate some surprising results. No query is needed. Wiby offers a link which says “surprise me.”

Wiby also offers an old fashioned “submit a url” form. I entered one of my Web sites. Nothing happened, but maybe there is an editorial review process which struggles with law enforcement and intelligence related content? You can find the “submit a url” page at this link.

When one has an idle moment, a click on surprise me can be interesting.

Stephen E Arnold, May 29, 2020

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