Zero price markets in everything, religious search engines

by on September 14, 2010 at 9:53 am in Education, Web/Tech | Permalink

Shea Houdmann runs SeekFind, a Colorado Springs-based Christian search engine that only returns results from websites that are consistent with the Bible. He says SeekFind is designed "to promote what we believe to be biblical truth" and excludes sites that don't meet that standard.

Houdmann says a search on his site would not turn up pornography. If you search “gay marriage,” you would get results that argue against gay marriage. And if you type in “Democratic Party,” your first search result is a site on Marxism.

But SeekFind isn’t the only search engine carving a niche market among religious Internet users. There is also Jewogle for Jews and I'mHalal, a Muslim search engine that started in the Netherlands.

The Muslim site is already getting ten million users (or is that site visits?) a month.  The full story is here and for the pointer I thank Anastasia.

Addendum: I couldn't get the Christian search engine to work at all; the site blames heavy traffic [I tried again; googling my name gets you to Tyler Perry.  If you google "economics", "Islamic economics" pops up before "Christian economics" and "postmodern economics" comes before both].  The Halal site brought up more or less normal results both for my name and for "economics," although page one for the latter had some squirrely (non-Muslim) results, such as Hunter College.  I don't appear in Jewogle at all, but an economics query will bring you to a list of Nobel Laureates.

1 David Smith September 14, 2010 at 10:02 am

I searched “Mormonism” three times. The first time, results came up for a query into “porn” and offered me sites on breaking porn addiction. The second time, results came up for a query into “Mormonism,” such fare as “Mormonism v. Christianity.” The third time, results came up for a query into “Democratic Party.”

2 zbicyclist September 14, 2010 at 11:19 am

I searched for Swedenborg (Emanuel Swedenborg, Christian philosopher from the 18th century who wrote extensively on the bible). The Muslim site gave decent results. The Christian site returned junk. I think they have a pretty narrow definition of “Christian”.

3 Aaron September 14, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Warning! Geek pedantry below:

“Google” isn’t like “kleenex” or “xerox.” When used as a transitive verb, it implies “to search Google” as opposed to the more generic “to use a search engine.”

Also, you’d think a site backed by God would have better uptime.

4 Brad_sk September 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Also, you’d think a site backed by God would have better uptime.

Posted by: Aaron

Good one!

5 Brad_sk September 14, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I think the lesson here is “don’t let Christians build your web site.”

Posted by: BKarn

Nope..the lesson is just “Don’t let wannabe political propaganda sites fool you to what they claim to be”.

6 A September 14, 2010 at 12:52 pm

“Sadly, due to hackers attempting to manipulate our search results, we have had to temporarily deactivate the SeekFind search engine. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.”

Hackers? I thought it was a Christian site. They should have blamed the Devil.

7 Bill September 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Actually, this is little different than a website that aggregates links to other “right or left” thinking bloggers–that the search engine limits selection and the user chooses that search engine guarantees confirmation bias, as does going to the oriented aggregator site for your daily “news or commentary”

8 Kelvin September 14, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Searching for “bacon” on I’mHalal yields plenty of delicious results. Related searches include “bacon explosion” and “bacon wrapped dates”.

9 Troy Camplin September 15, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I just searched for myself. I apparently don’t exist in their search engine. What do you suppose it is? The belief in evolution? My book Diaphysics? My pantheistic Catholicism despite being raised Baptist? Probably the latter (though they’re all related).

10 Troy Camplin September 16, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I also don’t show up on Jewogle, but I’m all over I’mHalal

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