Seeks is a Free Software/open source project licensed under the Affero General Public License version 3 (AGPLv3). It exists to create an alternative to the current market-leading search engines, driven by user concerns rather than corporate interests. The original manifesto was created by Emmanuel Benazera and Sylvio Drouin and published in October 2006. Since then, the project has been under active development and stable releases of the engine are available for public use in addition to various distributions of the source code for adventurous users. In September 2011, Seeks won an innovation award at the Open World Forum Innovation Awards.
Seeks aims to give the control of the ranking of results to the users, as search algorithms are often less accurate than humans. It relies on a distributed collaborative filter to let users personalize and share their preferred results on a search. Also, because of the openness of the source code, users can verify and modify the collaborative filter to fit its needs.
Public meta search engine – These are various individuals or entities that have created publicly accessible instances of the Seeks source code. This is the easiest way to begin using Seeks, as it operates in a similar manner to any other search engine.
Web proxy – Based on the popular Privoxy open source code, this allows setting up Seeks to operate as a web proxy which intercepts network requests for search queries and returns Seeks-based results.
Web application – This allows setting up an instance of the web search interface on a local system, and more customizing than available when using a public node.
Results are automatically reranked based on user behavior.
Results are automatically reranked based on behavior by similar users.
The software can be run in a distributed, peer-to-peer (P2P) manner, which enhances privacy while distributing workload, and shares reranking data pseudonymously.
As free and open source software, the source code and binaries are freely available and can be used for commercial and personal uses with many freedoms.
It uses various commercial engines, public data sources or privately set search engines to generate its index and in this way serves as a meta-search engine while at the same time reranking results to optimize based on user behavior.