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Building a search engine to compete with Google, Yahoo!, and Bing
We all know what the major search engines are, and how much traffic they're getting, but we never really know what goes into planning them and how much work it actually is. If you don't know how to do the programming yourself, you will have to bring in people who can get the job done for you, which could cost a lot of money and time because of all the intricate things that need to go into just the planning of the engine itself.
Sure, you can go purchase a script that someone else already coded up, but it won't have all the customization you want and it will actually be riddled with holes that someone else could hack into. Also, you never know if the person who coded it up has a backdoor in the script so they can access your search engine whenever they want, which is a critical security break that would need to be identified before it even happens. There are many things you'll need to focus on, mainly the coding and security of the engine itself, but you also need to work on the marketing in order to bring people in from all over the world.
You need to plan out everything in order to know what you need to be done and when it should be done. You need to bring on plenty of programmers if you can't get it done yourself, who can get the job done for you. You'll need to do plenty of marketing in order to bring people in, and keep them coming back. Bug fixes will need attention, which your programmers should be able to do quickly, so be sure to have at least one programmer on call at all times. You'll need to profit from the engine if it gets too successful because just your server costs could cripple the engine if too many people are using it at once or they come back all the time to conduct searches. One of the final things you'll need to focus on is the hackers, and how you can keep them out of the backend of your engine, so they can't get in and wreak havoc on your scripts or inject anything they want.
In this discussion, I'll be going over everything you'll need to do in order to put up your own search engine and compete with the top dogs in the industry such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
When it comes to any website, not just an engine, you'll need to do a lot of planning. A search engine isn't a service or a blog, but it needs a lot of attention even on the smallest tasks. If you're slacking just a little on things, you could have vulnerabilities that a hacker would love to take advantage of lol.
You'll need to plan everything out, from the domain name to hosting and even how you're going to market the engine to bring people in multiple times and make it their primary search engine of choice. There are so many things that are involved in the planning that you could even miss some things, but as long as you address them before you launch, you should be fine.
With a search engine, you're probably not going to be able to use something like a shared hosting plan to run it efficiently. You'll likely want to put it on its own dedicated server, which costs more than a common server you're likely used to, but it's worth it.
Set up a monthly schedule for what needs to be done, and set up milestones for your programmers to hit, so everyone is on track for the launch date that you want to stick to.
Bringing on programmers
Not just any programmer can come in and program what a search engine does for its visitors. You will need to find someone that knows the specific coding language that can design crawlers, a system to index everything, remove duplicates from the index, and implement a ranking algorithm that will only push the best websites to the top of the rankings. You wouldn't want someone to build 1,000,000 backlinks and get ranked #1 for a specific keyword, so your ranking algorithm needs to be coded extremely well and can't be shared anywhere online.
You can find programmers here on SEOclerks or on a website called UpWork. I've used UpWork plenty of times to find credible programmers, and I've usually had a great experience with them. Just be sure to hire the people who know what they're doing and have a high success rate with their jobs.
Bringing in recurring visitors
When you run any type of website, you'll need a lot of recurring visitors to become as popular as possible. You'll need to prove why you're the search engine people should use over Google, Yahoo!, and Bing and that comes in the form of amazing features that everyone gets to use for free without registration. Every search engine has key tools for you to use, but you have to register to use them, so you'll need to figure out a way you can have multiple tools in order to keep people coming in all the time.
If you get someone to come back a second and third time, it's likely they loved their experience and you have created a loyal searcher Now you just have to replicate this a few hundred million times and you'll be on everyone's radar lol.
Making money from ads
A good search engine will have to make money somehow, and that means you'll need to set up an advertising platform for website owners to get their links in front of searchers of specific keywords. If you've ever been on Adwords, it's extremely advanced and seems like an entirely separate company from Google, but it's their main source of revenue and is pretty competitive.
When you're in the early stages of your search engine, you won't need an advertising platform in place for website owners to use, mainly because you will be able to front the money for the server. When you start to get a massive amount of traffic, you'll need to think about an advertising platform so you can get website owners to pay you for clicks or per impression. You won't make much per click, but it will usually be enough to profit off of in the long run
A programmer should always be on call to handle bug fixes. You will be actively using, and trying to find bugs, in order to fix them and make a users experience top notch. If you ignore even the smallest bug, you could get a lot of people talking about it, and that's never a good thing. Think about it, if someone is talking about all the bugs in your search engine and not the benefits of using your engine, you will notice some negative PR spreading like cancer that is difficult to remove.
Fixing bugs on a website like this is crucial, mainly because it could result in a hacker finding them first and breaking your engine completely, which leads to my next point.
Blocking the hackers
Hackers want to find vulnerabilities within a big website and take advantage of it for their own benefits. Some hackers will just inject their own codes to siphon money from an advertising platform, or they will inject their own scripts to completely break your engine and basically hold it for ransom. This is actually pretty common, and people send money to the hackers all the time to get their sites back, mainly because they don't have backups or can't access their codes. For this reason, you'll want to have a backup on an external hard drive just in case you can't access your codes and scripts.
Your programmers should understand how hacking works and they will be able to block anyone from getting in. You can also hire a 3rd party security service to handle all of the work, which will cost some cash up front, but it could be extremely worth it.
Building your own search engine, and giving the major engines a run for their money, will take some time to do. Google didn't start making millions of dollars right out the gates, it took a long time and they eventually got investors who helped push them into the stratosphere. You'll need to have a bunch of features that everyone wants, but don't have to pay or register for, so think of what you can give out for free and bring in massive waves of people from all over the internet You need a great team of programmers who know what they're doing, and they will need to know how to block hackers from accessing your codes and scripts, so nothing gets broken or held for ransom. If you can do all of this, then acquire funding from investors, you might be able to give a major search engine a run for their money but it won't be anytime soon.
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