The global fashion magazine March 2, 2024 
Out now: Lucire issue 48, with free shipping for UK and US


Our search box is back in action, and continues to respect your privacy

Switching from Duck Duck Go, which appears to have lost thousands of our pages from its results, to Mojeek, means our search is now with an independent company that has had a longer history of not tracking its users, writes Jack Yan
July 18, 2022/12.10

Astute Lucire readers will notice that we’ve fixed up the search—for the last wee while it hasn’t worked properly.

For many years, we used a service called SiteLevel to provide the internal search for our website. When that ceased to work properly, we switched to Duck Duck Go, as users could be assured of their privacy. Sadly, that began to falter when we shifted Lucire to a secure-server protocol in March. Currently, when doing a site search, Duck Duck Go returns 48 total results from—down from several thousand in March. We have no idea why. Conventional wisdom is that secure-server pages do better on search engines, but we have seen no evidence of that when we changed our sites’ settings. Quite the opposite.

We know Duck Duck Go sources some of its results from Microsoft Bing, where the situation is even worse: a site search there returns only 10 pages.

In comparison, Google says it has 5,730 pages at the time of writing.

This does mean Bing is worse than any of the 1990s search engines that had indexed our site—back then, Altavista, Excite, Infoseek and Hotbot could all claim to have had more of our pages shown.

As we have no wish to expose users to Google’s tracking intentionally, we spent a lot of time figuring out how to fix this. You can read it in more detail on my personal blog.

The solution, which we arrived at last night, was to switch to Mojeek, a British search engine with its own index. Mojeek had user privacy enshrined into its principles before Duck Duck Go, and was originally built from the ground up by one entrepreneur, Marc Smith, running his servers from his bedroom in 2004. By 2006, its privacy policy expressly stated it would not track. A lot of people believed in him and the company grew slowly, and wisely.

Mojeek has 3,533 pages from Lucire indexed, which is still very creditable. It means that for the majority of the time, you’ll be able to find what you need from our site’s search boxes. Its total index contains a sizeable 5 milliard pages, as of March 2022.

I’m surprised that we hadn’t come across Mojeek till earlier this month, as it’s exactly the sort of independent venture we like, and share numerous values with. You can read more about its history here.

We’re looking forward to Mojeek growing more, and to seeing how we can help this pioneering, user-friendly, privacy-respecting search engine.
Jack Yan is founder and publisher of Lucire.

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