UK Search Engine Looks Back on a Year of Big Developments
2021 was a big year for Mojeek, the UK’s only crawler-index search engine as it reached some considerable milestones, added new functionality and joined the conversation on developments in internet regulation.
Mojeek was very active in campaigns and consultations relating to user digital rights and fair competition. As part of three coalitions they have been seeking to make a positive contribution to the developing regulations in the EU in particular, but also further afield. On matters of interoperability, defaults, self-preferencing and bundling they have been part of the Coalition for Competitive Digital Markets (#CompDM) of 50+ companies across 16 countries. They also joined with over one hundred consumer rights organizations, civil rights groups, NGOs, privacy experts and 13 companies in campaigns (#TrackingFreeAds) calling for a ban on surveillance-based advertising. They also joined 26 companies in a “Coalition for a Level Playing Field” supporting antitrust action by NextCloud against Microsoft and their practices of bundling, embedding, defaults and opaque partnering. Finally, they have been consulting closely with the UK government on its draft Online Safety Bill and the proposed changes to the UK GDPR.
In June Mojeek announced that it had surpassed 4-billion indexed pages, and is now within touching distanced of the 5-billion mark, having increased server capacity by 50% during the year. Index size figures are not frequently stated publicly by the larger search engines that crawl and index (note that nearly all search services use Microsoft’s Bing’s index) but this would put Mojeek as the largest, by index size, for a company in the United Kingdom.
Mojeek has been continually working to update its algorithm which, unlike with search engines that track you and personalise your results, only provides objective results. Objective as each and every Mojeek user will see the same set of results for a given query and location/language setting. On top of this it has added in a calculator that answers both basic and advanced mathematical queries on the search engine result page.
Mojeek also rolled out the Alpha phase of their search advertising programme, working closely with a small number of initial customers to build the world’s first no-tracking, contextual search ads. This seeks to provide Mojeek with a new revenue stream, whilst also offering advertisers first hand access to new audiences. We also expanded our range of API customers, increasing revenues very significantly.
“As the world realises the damage done by surveillance capitalism, people are increasingly looking to companies which act ethically like Mojeek. Based in the UK but serving users in almost every country, Mojeek is offering the world a genuine alternative to the biases of Google and Bing, as we build the largest independent index of the open web.” - Colin Hayhurst, CEO Mojeek