Mojeek Search Trends

Ok. This might be controversial.

Google has Google Trends which looks like a solution that gives some info about what people are searching for on the internet while, in my opinion, also preserving privacy.

Would Mojeek be able to share such data? I think it might give interesting insight into what people are searching for on Mojeek. It might enable us to create websites about topics that are searched a lot on mojeek or adapt content in such way that people might find it easier on Mojeek?

I know that there are pro’s and con’s about publishing such data, but I’d like to open the discussion and get some opinions.

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Never against controversial ideas :wink: this is for sure possible in a privacy-preserving way, and I will chuck the idea up on our list of things people have requested, but it’s not likely to be one that we looking at soon :pray:

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Tbh I think this is a dangerous idea, as what you have stated are exactly what SEO does. On SEO, high quality websites will almost inevitably lose, since poor quality ones don’t care about coherence nor truth, allowing them to overload their content with as many keywords etc. necessary to rise to the top. With that, there shouldn’t be a need for good content to adapt to the search engine, it should be the other way around.

Moreover, following the trends have already broke other search engines, either by suggesting trendy sites that are irrelevant to the search, trying to second-guess the search term by a more trendy term, or SEO garbage overwhelming the results by using the trendy terms to rise to the top despite the content being nonsense, off-topic or plagiarized from another site. Therefore, I think it would be best for Mojeek to not follow other search engines to this rabbit hole and never touch the idea of trends with a 10-foot pole.

@Videonas can correct me if I’m following wrong but I don’t think this is about any functional change to how Mojeek would rank, it wouldn’t be:

Rather, Google Trends is a tool that journalists, researchers, marketers, and a whole host of other people use in order to understand query data on aggregate. It’s used quite a lot when telling stories about what people are searching for, rather than using those data in order to change your product.

i think mirroring Google products in general (+ privacy) might be a good idea that could potentially open the door to niche subscription services if Moj decided to expand its horizons

the Trends idea though, not so much - i think for that to be generally useful a far bigger net would have to be cast to include all major search engines with the ability to filter by geographic areas as well as individual search engines and i’m guessing something like that already exists (?), though perhaps not in a privacy-centric form

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My idea was indeed to not change how Mojeek is ranking. Rather, give some more information about what people are searching for with Mojeek.

I personally use Google Trends sometimes to find out what people are looking for. I’ll even admit that I sometimes use it to find topics to create content myself. But I’m no fan of SEO rubbish either. I too, don’t like those nonsense articles that are created for the sole purpose of ending up as high in the search terms as possible without giving any value to the reader. It’s for that reason that I don’t create those. But that doesn’t mean that I think that not publishing information about what people are searching for on a search engine is going to combat those articles. I have seen them as well while using Mojeek, by the way. So it not that Mojeek is immune to those articles because it hasn’t published any information about the search queries that it processes.

When a search engine is growing in numbers, so will the websites be that will do anything to end up high in the search results (preferably for popular search terms). It’s like the amount of viruses will grow when the amount of users of an OS grows. Or like the amount of fishing tailored to a certain mail provider will grow when that mail provider grows. Abusing a system seems to be embedded in human nature.

I was curious about the target demographic that is using Mojeek. Partially because I’m always too curious, partially because more insight into how a product is used can help grow the product and thus knowing who and how Mojeek is used will better allow me to introduce it to other people, partially because this information might allow me to contribute more to this community, partially because…

I’ve started this thread with it and I’ll repeat it here: I know my point of Vue on this topic might be controversial on this forum.

Oh, you mean only data gathering. Though how about the risk of SEO using the data gathered for gaming the ranking? Or as @Videonas stated:

Would these be possible if Mojeek started gathering and releasing similar data to the public? Wouldn’t there be a risk of them being misused, like for example, pushing low quality promotional content high up the ranking by spamming those popular keywords?

There is no such thing as a perfect system in this regard, but like others we have methods to deal with keyword stuffing (what I believe you mean by “spamming those popular keywords”) and our ranking takes into account a wide range of different factors. These two things combined mean that it would not be as simple as knowing what is searched for on Mojeek giving you the ability to hop up the rankings.

This being said, Trends here is a thing which is in the would be nice to do, eventually column, not something which we’re looking at implementing any time soon.