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Wiki-based search engine launched

By   |  January 9, 2008

Wikia Search, an open source community edited search engine, was released in its first alpha version this week. Conceptualised by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, it came as a response to concerns over the lack of transparency in the way that Google ranks its searches.

I love Google, I trust Google but I still think that there’s a problem with secrecy in that you never know who you really can trust.

The idea for the site was motivated by the fact that Google uses patented technology and the details of its ranking algorithm, which determines what tops the list when returning search results, has not been publicly disclosed.

The open source search engine has been founded on four key principles – transparency of search algorithms, community participation, quality of search results and privacy of users.

The BBC reported Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales as saying “I just believe that transparency is an important political issue on the web. One of the things I make an analogy to is openness in a free society, openness in a court system.”

With Wikia Search users rate search results according to their usefulness. However this does leave it open to potential manipulation by sites seeking to optimise their presence. Responding to this criticism, Wales said he hoped the openness of the system will allow for such abuse to be rectified quickly

“That will be for the community of editors to decide, I think in general it’s going to be very similar to any wiki, if you do something bad people will get mad at you. Most people are good, you don’t want to create some elaborate police state before you actually have



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