Nathan Enns started working on FyberSearch at the age of 19. Having developed the engine from scratch, Nathan has been following the search space for quite some time, at the same time adding more features to FyberSearch.
Here are a few questions that Nathan took the time to answer for SEJ.
1. How is your advertising technology, services and tools different from that offered by other search engines (major)?
Our advertising program combines the benefits of pay per click advertising with the appeal of a monthly fee structure. Advertisers get to choose how much they want to pay per month and how long they want their ad to run for. If two advertisers compete for the same keyword then each one can raise the monthly fee they chose to pay to have their ad placed higher than their competitor. We remove the problems associated with click fraud while continuing to let advertisers choose how much they value their ads like they do in pay per click programs. The underlying math gets a little complex but the user interface keeps everything fairly straightforward.
Unlike many search engines, we offer several free and paid services to webmasters other than advertising. Search engine submission, inclusion status checkers and other SEO tools to name a few.
2. The dominant engines of today could take their time to “grow” with the web. Do you think that the growing amount of content online has upped the ante for new entrants in the search space?
If their top priority is index size then the answer is probably yes (they would at least need more funding to get going).
3. Having started out on your own engine, how hard was it to develop a scalable system that could be tailored to accept new tweaks? Can you mention any issue that required a major rework?
Unlike most search engine developers I actually learned to program and learned about search engines while writing one so I could probably list too many examples. The biggest issue was going back and forth between storing data in a database, using the file system directly or a combination. When I first started out PHP/MySQL worked pretty well, but not only did the index grow but completely new and unique advanced features were added. After tweaking MySQL and other databases it became apparent that PHP and MySQL were not enough. To solve the problem I learned Python and wrote an interface to use the file system directly to handle certain aspects of the search engine.
4. What major upgrades or features are you planning to role out in the near future?
Every so often I hear search engine companies (both small and big) talk about how they will be releasing their “new and revolutionary search technology” in the press. Unfortunately I haven’t seen a lot of new or revolutionary search technology happen for a while. If you disagree just look at which search engine is still the biggest and then consider how similar their search engine looks to the one they first launched. People are doing a lot of awesome stuff on the internet in general but it seems like the search industry specifically has been given up on.
To answer your question, the next release I have planned looks like a search engine but is significantly different and is therefore not really a “new and revolutionary development in the search industry”. In fact, I started doing this project because nothing like it exists and I really want to use it :-)
5. What do you make of the search engine market in the coming 5-10 years? What in your opinion could see the present market positions of the leaders change?
Depends on how my new project turns out ;-). New laws, new lawsuits, large wars all could affect the current leaders although that was probably not the answer you were looking for. People will stop using the top search engines if they lower the quality of their service or if something else comes out that is actually significantly better in almost everyone’s eyes. So far neither one has happened and it doesn’t look like anyone is honestly trying very hard.
Thanks Nathan and here’s looking forward to the new great at FyberSearch.