reclaiming website search

I've been withdrawing from relying on Google wherever possible, for various reasons. One place where I was still stuck in the Googleverse was with the embedded site search I was using on my self-hosted static file photo gallery site. That was one of the few places where I couldn't find a decent replacement for Google, so it stayed there. And I wasn't comfortable with that - I don't think Google needs to be informed every time someone visits a page I host ((as would happen when the embedded search javascripts are loaded - that activity data could then be tracked/stored/analyzed by Google to better model what you're interested in, who you know, etc…)). [Read More]

DuckDuckGo - search engine that doesn't track you

I've been trying to find ways to reduce the amount of information about me that's tracked every time I do anything online. I don't like that every piece of activity is tracked, analyzed, and sold. I've said over and over, that if any government or agency had proposed tracking this much data on every citizen, there would be an uproar. But we just shrug it off when it's done by the big online properties. [Read More]

common words

I just updated the excellent [Relevanssi]( search index plugin (it makes the search feature of WordPress actually WORK, with relevant results rather than the lame built-in search). It reports on the top words in the search index. I'm a little surprised at the results (but, looking over the words in just this short post, I probably shouldn't be...). 1. just (1226) 1. like (846) 1. i'm (820) 1. i've (675) [Read More]

Drupal Search Funkiness

I've been noticing that the search feature of this Drupal blog has been acting up for awhile - searching for "drupal" turns up only 4 items, but I've written many many posts mentioning Drupal. I didn't think it was a big deal, but I've actually been getting emails and IMs asking me wtf wrt searching. So, I dug a bit deeper. Turns out, Drupal is refusing to index my content when cron. [Read More]

Shaking the Google Addiction

I've been such a total Google junkie since it kicked all of the search engine's collective asses. Nothing else has come close, so I haven't even bothered looking anywhere else for perhaps a couple of years now. It just hit me that I'm a little uncomfortable with that total reliance on one source (and their algorithms) for my searching. So, following Mark Evans' lead, I'm going to try going a week without Google. [Read More]