About a month ago we decided to take the Web Search Platform on an exercise run. We put one engineer to the task and asked him to build an image search engine. Today we are releasing it on alexa.com. It is still in Beta while we work out some of the kinks and continue to build the index. At this point we’ve indexed 10% of the images in the Alexa crawl. We expect to have all of them indexed in the next few months.
Alexa is committed to enabling anybody with programming skills to build a full-featured search engine without spending millions on crawlers, storage and indexing technology. So far we’ve released quite a few search engines of our own on the Web Search Platform, some with complete source code and tutorials, including:
- Alexa Web Search – this is Alexa’s primary search index featured on alexa.com
- Alexa Image Search – just released today
As well as the following niche/vertical search engines, all of which come with complete source code and build instructions:
- Camera Image Search – this lets you search for photos based on the camera and settings. Thinking of buying a Sony Cybershot? See what pictures from that camera look like.
- Robots.txt Search – this search lets you see which Web sites block which crawlers. For example, want to see all sites that block Yahoo Slurp?
- Zip File Search – this search lets you look for files buried in Zip files. For example, looking for an old winamp skin?
- HCard Search – this search lets you look for HCard contact info on the web. Looking for somebody named Mack?
If you are thinking about building a search engine the Web Search Platform is definitely worth a look. Sign up for the beta and get started.