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Thread: How do you make your own search engine?

  1. #1
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    How do you make your own search engine?

    Not a search engine just being another Google search bar on your site. But like a search engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, etc. Something completely independent of the others.

    How do the search engines make money? Without sponsored links/advertisements do they still make money somehow?

    Every time someone clicks a link from any search engine, the website has to pay them?

    Sorry I'm new, and still learning. I only know html5, xhtml, and some css.
    Last edited by JoPic; Jul 28th, 2013 at 01:36 PM.

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    If you're new and you don't know any server-side programming (PHP, ASP.net, Ruby on Rails, etc.), don't even think about attempting a project like this unless it's for personal reasons. The fact that you asked how they make money suggests that it isn't.

    You have to think of it this way...Google has tens of thousands of engineers with a mountain of experience and knowledge. They've seen things and solved issues you wouldn't ever have thought of. They have to deal with spam, they have to deal with vested-interest webmasters, they have to deal with poor code, with philosophical issues such as which pages to index and which ones not to index, and a whole bunch more. You're one person. Unless you've got some incredibly knowledgeable friends, it's not going to happen.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Yep... Agreed ( this from the 2 guys on this forums that have built them )... Not sure at what depth TheGame went with his... But mine is a full out... Search engine with standalone front end... Multiple crawlers, several dedicated DB's for storing data...

    I built mine strictly to get a better grasp on understanding how sites, different servers, different situations all interact with crawlers and data harvesting... It was ( still is ) a massive learning experience.

    I've recently been approached by a group of investors in taking mine live, but by all appearances, they ( the investors ) really don't have a clue and they give me the impression they think I know less than them... But this whole ordeal has gotten me thinking ... I might just put some more work.... Focus on one specific area of interest...

    No... You won't make money until you start selling advertising... Not will I ... Not sure if I'm ready for that much work yet. Might be fun just to see what I can do with it though .
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  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I definitely didn't go to that level. It was one server and a few different sites (with permission...a pretty big deal). Even doing that and building a relevancy algorithm was enough for me.
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  6. #5
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    Cool. I want to learn all the codes and languages. But throughout my life, experience has been the best learning process for me.

    I want to know how/where should I start? I would like to start with a forum website, but I was thinking of using phpBB, but since this site uses vBulletin and many others do as well... Is it possible to start with phpBB then switch it to vBulletin?

    Why is vBulletin better?

    What are some other types of websites would be a good start?

  7. #6
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    If you're going to do anything "development" wise, you will need to know PHP and MySQL ( for the DB )... All the things you me mentioned so far... Require both.. The HTML and CSS are used for the "design" layer... So if you want to mke something look good ( subjective term ), you'll need to know those as well.

    if you have No experience with PHP ... Start there... Trying to decipher someone else's code and scripts on the level of vbulletin or any other pre-built script will likely cause your head to explode as those thing as coded at so much higher levels of logic and understanding.... Than most experienced developers ever get to.

    start small... Take an HTML static site and convert it to use PHP includes for the common areas ( header, footer, navigation, etc ... ) so if there's a "site wide" change, you update one file... Upload it... Done...

    then create a simple "news script" or something similar ... Where you have a front end ( where people can view the data ), a back end... Where you can put the data in... And a DB that stores it all...

    that will give you some "basic understanding" of what development is...

    seriously... You'd be setting yourself up for failure... If you try to learn by deconstructing something like vbulletin ....

    some people consider PHPbb and vbulletin on par... Most times ( in the case of this forum ), a certain platform is chosen because that's what the developers work in and know it... Not that they didn't know PhpBB... But if your development team can make necessary changes or modifications quicker because they understand a specific platform... It make better business sense to just go that route.
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  8. #7
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    See, now you're talking about something completely different. A forum is not a search engine. Two horses of different colors. Nothing you've listed there would be useful when building a search engine.

    I'd like to learn a whole bunch of languages too. Let's start with the African ones. Swahili. Dutch. Arabic. French. Afrikaans. Igbo. Somali. It takes several years just to learn and master one, and you want to learn them all? Again, not going to happen.

    Before you do anything, you need to learn how to set some realistic goals. Your eyes are looking 1000 miles down the road and you haven't travelled an inch yet.
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  9. #8
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    Ok I will start with learning php and MySQL.

    Years?... I'm sure you guys both have been doing web design for some time, but do you have languages memorized? I have to reference my books and/or w3c often. How long did it take you to become a successful website developer?

    Do you need to go to school?

    Edit: Oh and yes after what you both said about pursuing a search engine, I am trying to come up with other website ideas.

  10. #9
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Years...and no. That's utterly impossible. Anyone who says that they have every piece of syntax for a language is either lying or egomaniacal...even something as relatively simplistic as HTML has different versions, is interpreted differently across different browsers, has different things you can do with it, etc. CSS? Same thing. Javascript? Same thing. And we haven't even touched a server-side language yet. If you're building anything worth building, you're going to have to look at least a couple of things up from time to time, even if you've built similar things in the past...the human brain just can't hold that much information. That's why we have computers in the first place.

    What I do is that I take a language or a framework and add my own logic in so that I can use things that make more sense to me and thus shorten my development process For example, I have a 200 KB DLL file that I use with all of my ASP.net projects (and growing) where I encapsulate a lot of the more common things I do with websites. Database reading and writing, XML file creation, image manipulation, etc. So I don't have to memorize a whole bunch of syntax to accomplish what I want as a result.

    If you do it right, you're always going to be learning and evolving your own stuff and you'll look back on stuff you did years before and wonder what you were thinking. I've been doing this 14 years and there are still things I'm learning. WZ would probably say likewise.
    JoPic likes this.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  11. #10
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    You guys must be pretty wealthy? I wish I got into making websites earlier...

    Well I have a few more questions before I let this thread go.

    Are you guys millionaires?

    How much do you charge to make a website for someone? Or if you are not into making websites for others, what should a person pay for a site to be made for them?

    Is trademarking a name worth it?


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