Sometime last year I conducted an interview with Nathan Enns, founder of FyberSearch. Here is the transcript of that interview:
SY: Nathan, tell us a bit about yourself, what?s your background in search engines, how did FyberSearch start?
NE: I became interested in search technology while building a website for my web design business.
I was 18 at the time, knew very little about search engines or programming, and wanted to create a program that allowed users to instantly add any web page to a very small searchable file.
I knew barely enough programming to achieve that. But I enjoyed it so much that I began adding new features, learning PHP, MySQL and studying search engines as fast as I could.
I started this simple search program in November 2003. I enjoyed it so much that I kept adding new features and before I knew it, FyberSearch was born.
SY: OK, I?ve noticed recent changes on FyberSearch, can you please tell us a bit about it?
NE: Yes, FyberSearch was re-designed recently.
I added the option to search only web pages relating to health or religion.
I also added the option to view and search the topic of each web page. The topic generator is still in its early stages though, so I wouldn?t call it 100% accurate.
To continue the mission of ?giving you the control? you will now see most of the advanced features on the front page, as well as the sub-pages on FyberSearch.
SY: Do you plan to work with anyone (i.e. gather up a team or a partner) for FyberSearch?
NE: I will consider partnering up with other search projects and web hosting companies, but I plan to remain the sole programmer for FyberSearch for a little while.
SY: What?s your insight on search engines? What do you think the future holds for us? Do you think FyberSearch will end up as a winner?
NE: My insight into search engines is the same thing each person possesses and can use, that is creativity and logic applied to achieving a goal.
One of my goals for the future of FyberSearch is to provide a specialized search for many general topics such as religion.
There are quite a few niche directories and search engines already in existence. I want to own the best niche search engine as well as a high quality general search engine. You can also expect to see a speed improvement equal to the funding I have to put into FyberSearch.
Right now it?s on one single average dedicated server which is not the best choice for an entire search engine. But I think FyberSearch is already a winner, as it provides a unique and useful search experience to average internet users.
SY: OK. What advice would you give to someone who is looking towards building his own search engine?
NE: I would tell them not to think of it as a ?hard? project.
If you consider it being the hardest project in the world, you wont be able to write it well, as it will always somewhat stay in the back of your mind.
What you should do is add the features you think are useful to your users, using the resources you have. If you want a feature that requires more resources, then find a way to upgrade your resources.
Also, try to read as much as you can about the programming language you will use to construct it, and the type of database you will use to store your data in.
SY: Now to end it with an odd question, what?s your favourite website? (besides FyberSearch)
NE: www.google.com (just kidding).
I use www.searchenginelowdown.com followed by www.searchenginewatch.com the most. I need to stay up to date with my competition.