Berlin-based startup Archify has launched a new crowdsourced public search engine named Blippex. The internet browser offers an alternative way of ranking pages – it aggregates information on how much time people spend on a page, using this to judge its importance.
The latest offering is an add-on to Archify’s core feature, a browser plugin that prevents users from losing web pages and social media updates by archiving all their browsing information and making it searchable. With Blippex, cofounder Max Kossatz told us they want to offer a browser that is more like Wikipedia – focusing on user interaction and time spent on a site, rather than incoming links as a way to rank pages.
In a blog post, cofounder Gerald Bäck explained how the team came up with the idea: “Max and I realised that there is one core metric that could be an alternative to the PageRank. We learned that the biggest commitment a user can make to a web page and content is the time the user spends on it… It’s a stronger indication for quality content than links between machines. We call this new way of ranking pages DwellRank.”
The launch comes at the peak of the Prism scandal, with people becoming increasingly concerned about online security. That’s something the Archify team is well aware of, they stress that Blippex has strict privacy measures and does not save IP addresses or search terms in order to protect users’ anonymity. The only information the plugin sends the company is the page’s URL, the current time, and the amount of time spent on the page.
Blippex also wants to make its data collection transparent by publishing a monthly dump of its database, accessible to all users, and opening up its search algorithm data – to begin with by scoring details into its public API.
At the moment, Blippex only has around two million pages – it’s still testing the waters to see if the concept will be well-received.
Image credit: Flickr user aubergene
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