I shared bits and pieces of this before, but it’s officially up and running now: https://www.search-lemmy.com/

This is an enhanced search engine for Lemmy. With a few primary goals:

  • You can choose a preferred instance. After choosing what your primary instance is, and performing a search ALL links will open in that instance.
  • This aims to be a replacement for using site:reddit.com in Google, but just for the fediverse.
  • You can filter the search results by:
    • Instance – This will filter the results to only show communities that belong to a particular instance. Just type something like instance:lemmy.wrold or instance:https://lemmy.world/. This is separate from your preferred instance, such that you can search for posts on lemmy.world while still opening them on lemmy.ml.
    • Community – You can refine the search by a specific community. You use the same syntax that you’d use here community:!fediverse@lemmy.world.
    • Author – Similar to the above you can also filter by a specific author such as: author:@marsara9@lemmy.world.
  • The entire thing is open-source. You can view the code and even host your own instance… See more details here: https://github.com/marsara9/lemmy-search.

NOTE: This only supports Lemmy instances for now. Other fediverse type instances may be in the future depending on how this works out.

I’ve been working on this over just the last few weeks, so it hasn’t had a chance to crawl much of the fediverse yet. For now it only supports lemmy.world and lemmy.ml but other preferred-instances will come online as time goes by.

If anyone finds any bugs, and I’m sure you will, or if anyone has any suggestions PLEASE raise an issue on GitHub for me to track. Lastly, if anyone wants to help contribute please feel free to reach out.

NOTE TO SERVER ADMINS: You can prevent your site from being crawled by adding lemmy-server to your robots.txt for the user-agent.

  • Domille
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    561 year ago

    this is awesome and very needed. Thank you.

  • @[email protected]
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    391 year ago

    Thanks for this! I was trying to figure out how to best replace the old “site:reddit.com” trick, and it did not quite work with lemmy with how it is federated. I hope that longer term we can get an “all” tab on lemmy that truly tries to pull from as many of the federated sites as possible to get us closer to the Reddit experience. I tried to do some research on extreme heat clothing due to the wet bulb temps in my area but r/mensfashion and most other clothing reddits still seemed private, maybe I can try searching with your solution now.

    • RCMaehl [Any]
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      101 year ago

      Looks like your comment got triple posted. The lemmy instances are getting slammed lol

    • Konala Koala
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      14 months ago

      Well, we were probably already due or going on past due for something to best replace the old “site:reddit.com” with “site:lemmy.world” for instance.

  • hutchpd
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    301 year ago

    Can it filter NSFW posts? As on Reddit you can search “pussy nsfw:no” and get pictures of cats.

    • @[email protected]OP
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      251 year ago

      Yes but that search doesn’t take you to the instance that you are logged into already. Which is one of my main goals with this site. While that did give me the inspiration for this and has the power of Google behind it, it lacks knowledge about how the fediverse actually works.

  • @[email protected]
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    201 year ago

    This is great! I was so annoyed by the links not going to my home instance that I made this userscript (Lemmy post)! It rewrites all links on all websites to always point to your home instance.

    Could be a nice addition for everyone that likes this website :)

    • @[email protected]OP
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      41 year ago

      Are the search result links not opening on your home instance? If so please raise an issue on GitHub with your home instance URL and I’ll investigate. But you should be able to select your home instance from the drop-down and then search and all of the results will have their links direct to that instance. (This does require that your instance has been indexed by the search engine, which as of this moment I’ve only indexed 278 of the nearly 1000? Lemmy instances out there.)

      • @[email protected]
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        61 year ago

        I think you misunderstood. You were annoyed by links not going to your home instance when searching so you made this website. I was annoyed by all links everywhere not going to my home instance so I wrote the script. They’re both tools that help achieve the same thing so I felt right to post mine here, too :)

  • @[email protected]
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    201 year ago

    Holy fuck I’ve been thinking about how annoying it is that I can’t search lemmy for a few days now - and here you are suddenly just handing the tool I want to me with features that I didn’t even think about. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Adding this post to my saved.

  • @[email protected]
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    171 year ago

    make those results sort- and exportable (CSV, JSON, XML or the like), and you could be the new redditsearch.io. especially filtering results by different community/time/author would be great, and sorting by length/upvotes. what was that site with reddit post statistics called again? I know, this all might be further out, and wrangling bugs, the changing API and cloudflare might be more pressing issues, but maybe put it on the feature request list somewhere? all the best, and thank you for making this!

    • @[email protected]OP
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      11 year ago

      There is a public API now. While I won’t support sorting, you can process and do what you will with the results as-is. Currently I only support Posts and Communities for now.

      When you search for posts you’re just matching against the title or body. For communities it’s searching the posts within that community.

      There’s also more filters now with: instance/community/author/since/until and a safe-search option.

      So I’m not sure how close this comes to your idea but I thought I’d share.

  • Carlos Solís
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    151 year ago

    Wondering if this will see the same backlash that Mastodon had when users were planning to add a search engine - many users moved to Mastodon specifically because their posts are unsearchable by default, and that prevents some dogpiling that was common on Twitter.

    • @[email protected]
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      231 year ago

      Great heads up

      I just don’t get why people would join SOCIAL media if they don’t want to their posts public. Its like having a group meeting in the middle of a public square and complain people saw them

      Maybe they should just use discord or or private communities instead

    • Dick Justice
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      1 year ago

      Lemmy is not private in any way. In fact, while the OP’s project is really cool and admirable, there is already https://fedi-search.com, which searches top Lemmy instances (and kbin, Mastodon, and peertube) using regular operators behind the scenes in Google, Bing or DDG (whichever you prefer), because those search engines already crawl Lemmy along with the rest of the internet, unless the site owners block crawling via robots.txt.

    • PCH
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      91 year ago

      TBH they can block them from search in the preferences. Otherwise anything on the Web is searchable and findable.

    • @[email protected]OP
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      1 year ago

      I’ve already got some complaints about that. You can see one of the issues raised on GitHub.

      At the moment, I’m only picking up mastodon posts that are federated to Lemmy, but you can’t choose Mastodon as a preferred-instance, yet. When and/if I decide to add Mastodon support, I’ll reach out to the admins over there to get feedback first.

      Edit and note to any server admin: If you want to block the crawler from hitting your site, just add lemmy-search to your robots.txt and crawling will be prevented. But this doesn’t stop cross-federation posts from being picked up on another instance.

      • @[email protected]
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        1 year ago

        Thats very considerate of you

        Please don’t take those complaints as negative feedback. I don’t think Lemmy is designed to be private and your search engine would be a great of help to the whole community.

        By the way, do you plan to create a community to discuss about your search engine? Maybe users can help you with testing or report issues or improvement

        • @[email protected]OP
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          31 year ago

          I’ve got a discord page up and going that is invite only right now. No offense to anyone here but i didn’t want to be overwhelmed with users joining in on the discord chat just yet. If you want to help contribute or even just test you can easily find me on discord, and I’ll give you an invite.

            • @[email protected]OP
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              01 year ago

              If anyone wants to start one up… by all means. I’m not really one to moderate an entire community. At least not yet.

              • @[email protected]
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                11 year ago

                Yeah I hear you. I’ve thought several times about starting niche communities that aren’t here yet but I just am not capable or even able to be a moderator.

      • @lazyvar
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        31 year ago

        I think it makes sense for a “redditlike” to be searchable, while also understanding that Mastodon is a different beast and can benefit from lack of search.

        Don’t know if Mastodon posts on Lemmy instances have a specific characteristic, but perhaps you can consider filtering them out while keeping “regular” Lemmy posts and comments?

      • @[email protected]
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        21 year ago

        I think the use case and the default expectations about search are pretty different on Lemmy, but I can definitely see this being a potential point of friction, particularly since most content is actually structured by community rather than instance, and in many cases it would make more sense to exclude stuff based on the community it’s posted to or the individual user than by instance. (But I’m sure that wouldn’t be immediately technically feasible.)

        • @[email protected]OP
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          21 year ago

          Ya Lemmy organizes everything under a community technically. I mean I can filter on any piece of data I can get my hands on, but what makes the most sense. For MVP I chose to just grab whatever the API would give me. But then the question comes, if I do start filtering results, how do I determine what to actually exclude… long story short – not an easy problem at least initially.

      • @[email protected]
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        11 year ago

        Is it “lemmy-search” or “lemmy-server”? The post and this comment seem conflicting (if I didn’t miss something)

    • @[email protected]OP
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      151 year ago

      It might not have been crawled yet. The search engine will periodically search for new content but this isn’t instant. So it may take a day or two to find it.

      • @[email protected]
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        21 year ago

        still not working - is this possibly because of the server being overloaded & the crawl not working? relevant query

        PS: is it too much load on your search engine to search across all instances by default? Atm it auto-selects the first in the dropdown list as the preferred instance.

        • @[email protected]OP
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          21 year ago

          Search engines take time to crawl websites to find content. Right now I’m using lemmy.ml as my source of truth. So:

          1. The post in question must have been federated to Lemmy.ml
          2. The crawler then has to discover that post. Right now it’s only scheduled to run on demand, as it’s still doing it’s initial crawl. So it won’t get around to checking Lemmy.ml for new posts for a few days. Eventually it runs once every 6 hours, once it’s caught up.
          3. Lastly, it has to cross-reference that post on your preferred instance. This is what the crawler is doing right now. It’s taking every post it found on lemmy.ml and trying to find the same post on every other instance.

          P.s. the last step is only required because there’s no way to hotlink to a post today as the URL uses an internal identifier. There’s an open GitHub issue on this for Lemmy itself. When/if that is resolved I might be able to speedup the discovery of new content by skipping the cross-referencing step altogether.

          • @[email protected]
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            11 year ago

            Hello, I commented about a bug in the instance selector on a cross post, not realizing that wasn’t the actual developer. Not sure if it’s related to what you’re talking about here, but I wanted to bring it to your attention. Great project by the way!

            https://lemmy.ca/comment/829227

            • @[email protected]OP
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              21 year ago

              Replied to your comment there. I’ll definitely look into that bug tonight. But I’m still exploring ideas to make instance selection easier …

    • @[email protected]OP
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      41 year ago

      Due to a one of my primary goals of having links open in your home instance, you can only search a single instance at a time.

      There’s an open issue about this though but it requires some changes to Lemmy itself to work.

      • whzfux
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        11 year ago

        Not wanting to undermine your excellent work, what would be the specific advantage yet, compared to searching for communities / posts via the lemmy page?

        I am completly New to lemmy or reddit and still searching for a nice and easy way to find relevant threads for me

        • @[email protected]OP
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          51 year ago

          The built in search, well sucks. Search for “Not undermine wanting” and you won’t be able to find your comment. Essentially:

          1. All words are required
          2. The order of each of the search terms is important
          3. The search results here provide no ranking.
          4. The searching here is relatively slow. (now some queries on my site are slow as well, but most should be fast)
          • whzfux
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            11 year ago

            Ahhh i think i got it - so it is not a search for communities but for full text

            It then makes sense to me why i need toselecft an instance beforehand.

    • @[email protected]OP
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      61 year ago

      “some search string instance:lemmy.world”.

      Keywords are:

      instance:<instance name>

      community:!<community name>@<instance name>

      and

      author:@<author name>@<instance name>.

  • Mermitian
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    51 year ago

    Really nice work! I was excited since we talked about it, and it definitely delivers imo!

      • Mermitian
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        31 year ago

        Haha yeah! You might have to resort to an internet-less vacation :p

      • 🐱TheCat
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        31 year ago

        take time off whenever you need :D Im sure people would rather you go far than go fast