Searching using Mojeek

I have a question regarding searching using Mojeek vs other search engines.

I recently saw this toot by Mojeek:

It states that Mojeek is a lexical search engine and not a semantic one. So Mojeek searches for explicit matches of words instead of trying to interpret the search prompt. From my understanding of other search engines, this would mean that all major search engines (Google, Bing, Brave) are semantic, right?

A lot of SEO marketeers use the Google guidelines to optimize their web pages (because Google is the largest search engine). These guidelines are written for semantic search. For instance: The subject of your page should be used as keyword enough in your page’s content, but you should also use synonyms. That obviously means that a lot of websites are optimized for semantic search. With that in mind, would those web pages score as high in Mojeek as in other search engines? Transactional search doesn’t seem to work as well as in other search engines, in my experience. Here’s an article from ahrefs about search intent, for reference: What is Search Intent? A Complete Guide for Beginners

Do you have tips for webmasters to optimize for Mojeek? Would web content be completely different when it would be optimized for lexical search? I’m thinking that we might see keyword stuffing, or does Mojeek have systems in place to discourage this? Or would you not want webmasters and marketeers to optimize web pages for Mojeek because it would influence the search results?

Do you also have tips for people to better find what they’re looking for using Mojeek?


The simple answer is that what works for semantic search engines will be correct for us too. Using synonyms in your content is actually targeted at lexical/keyword type indexing (an older method), and so this is something that suits Mojeek - non-semantic search will not bring up the pages if the synonyms are not on the page and in the query; this is not so much of an issue when it comes to semantic search.

This being said, we will be adding in some semantic capability, and for the way that Mojeek works currently a lack of synonyms on a page is not always going to be an issue. Chances are here that they will be in the incoming links. When it comes to keyword stuffing, we have various things in place to detect stuff like this.

How To Search (On Mojeek) | Mojeek Blog is where that bit comes from in the Mastodon post; it’s got a fair bit of good advice in there.

1 Like

What about product search? How do e-commerce websites find their way in search results for (for example) “buy shoes” or “cheap electric scooter”?

Or how should users search to find webshops to buy stuff from?

Is this asking from the perspective of an e-commerce website wanting to rank? If so then it’s broadly similar advice as above, with prominent links, as referenced in: How to submit your site to Mojeek | Mojeek Blog

As other search engines do, Mojeek recommends getting prominent and genuine links to your site, this will help Mojeek and other search engines find and rank your website.

If you have any more context/detail then I can see if there’s something I’ve missed :pray:

When I search for ‘buy shoes’, ‘coffee mug shop’ or ‘cheap toilet paper’ in Google, Bing (or derivatives), I get links to webshops (and ads for the products).

The big tech search engines have systems in place to recognize that I’m looking for a product and serve me with links and ads to buy this product. The same goes for online services.

When I do the same on Mojeek, the results that I get seem to be all comparisons or sometimes review.

I guess that a lot of comparison or review websites have a lot more keywords about ‘cheap’ products, where to ‘shop’ for products or what products to ‘buy’ than webshops themselves. This is probably because webshops optimize to high conversion (buying) instead of giving a lot of information. In fact, I’ve seen quite some webshops that don’t have any information at all about what they do or what their focus is.

So now I’m wondering: If I want to find great products to buy using Mojeek, should I search like I do in Google or Bing derivatives (I hardly ever use the real thing)? Or should I search differently? If webshops don’t have information pages, do I then have to know exactly what product I want (and know how this is listed in webshops) in order to find it quickly in Mojeek? I’m just way too curious about how this works :face_with_peeking_eye:

I always use “buy blue widgets” type searches for Google and Bing as well. I can’t remember trying it with Mojeek.

Frankly, for shopping most of the time I just start at Amazon.

Ah I see, yes; frequently the “buy” is not necessary and could cause some issues as we’re trying to match it with the other words. Often it will be better going just for what you’re looking for. I just did a search for “mountain boots” vs “buy mountain boots” and although both had products which I could buy, the latter of the two had more review sites, as “how to buy” and “buy the best …” were a part of what was returned.

As with anything, if you find something that you think we should look into, there’s a “submit feedback” button on pages to let you quickly tell us about it. Here is also fine :smile:

Very direct method :clap: sometimes where I go to find the product + reviews, then to elsewhere to get it.

1 Like

good to hear

i think SEO is a lot of crap personally - i don’t think webmasters, especially for personal sites, ought to be tuning their content to rank higher

if i search for ‘fat kitty’, i would likely be interested in ‘overweight’, ‘obese’, ‘large’, ‘big’ kitty, etc.

That’s an interesting take. I think that SEO for webmasters, at the basis, is about making sure that search engines understand what your website or webpage is about.

with regard to SEO, note that i didn’t mean metadata - only content - and to manipulate content to satisfy some algorithm is exceedingly unnatural IMO because the words are no longer a direct reflection of the authors thoughts and are instead a somewhat artificial assembly designed to manipulate the search engine

i prefer to read what humans think organically - i’m not even so sure that commercial sites ought to stray too far from that philosophy


Personally, I find it just right, or as the link you shared stated: “This is because Google knows the user intent is to learn first, and then potentially buy.”

And I would also agree with @itsMe regarding SEO, that websites shouldn’t game the search engine to rank higher, not just for ethical reasons, but also for practical ones. Like if your site ranked high at the expense of obscuring a person’s intended search, naturally, they’ll not develop interest, but hatred. In their mind, your brand would be stained, demoted to an SEO garbage.

That said, I’m also aware of the fog of war in some industries, where the best products don’t become the market leaders due to lack of objective reviews and proper benchmarks. However, SEO is not the right tool for it. With the rising use, or more accurately, abuse of SEO, people’s intuition on them are improving, resulting in knee-jerk reactions like scrolling past them, filtering them out with search terms (ex. Reddit), or resorting to AI that can avoid them.

You can’t see the forest for the trees. Although this is true, I think you’re missing the point, that your customers are the people, not the search engine. That pleasing the search engine doesn’t necessarily please your customers, usually not even close. Focus instead on knowing your customers’ intent, matching them (remember "match, not “optimize”), and delivering their expectations. Focus on the human, not the machine. This isn’t foolproof, but is much better than blindly following the SEO flock to their doom.