We’ve had our own beta search engine for the past six months, but it was mostly a proof of concept, to see if we could build a search engine that recorded the semantics of web page metadata. Like any proof of concept launched to the public, it was slow, frequently returned zero results, and was difficult to keep up to date. A few months back, the guys behind the open source search engine project Nutch contacted us and they helped us develop a new search engine based on Nutch, with support for Creative Commons metadata thrown in.
We flipped the switch last week and have been testing it ever since. Compared to the last version of our search engine, this one is blazingly fast to return results, the results are much more specific to what you’re looking for, and it is constantly keeping up to date on over 1 million pages with Creative Commons license info in them.
Here are some sample searches I came up with while playing with the format and options:
Overall, a drastic improvement. If you find any bugs or come up with any other specific searches that the search engine performed well, be sure to drop a comment and let us know.