Brandon Wirtz, an SEO who started his own search engine named Samuru, aims at making a search engine that is spam free. Doesn't every search engine have that aim.
Someone posted the search engine to Hacker News where Brandon explained how Samuru is different:
Samuru doesn't use link authority, it analyzes pages and matches what you queried to the types of pages and picks the best matches.
Let me give you an example. You search for "How to Make cupcakes" Google says give me the pages that have the most inbound linkes (over simplification) that contain all those words. The winner is Brandon's Cupcakes (not really but play along for a minute) because it says, "We know how to make the best cupcakes, because we have been doing it for 25 years"
That is not a useful result. Samuru on the other hand says "how to make cupcakes is a search for instructions" and it looks for pages that match the words, and are written as instructions.
We weigh other factors, like is there an author associated with the article. Do they routinely write about the topic?
We do this for reviews, products and other things as well.
To be a full replacement for Google we need Driving directions, and image search and a lot of things. But in order to do all the other things we are doing we needed a search engine. (related content, analysis, speed testing, building a corpus of words)
Responses get better if you search something someone else has searched or do a second search 30 seconds later. This is because we haven't deep indexed the entire Internet yet, and so we don't have all the deep data.
Matt Cutts, the head of Google search spam, responded to this post asking something the SEO community would appreciate:
Hey Brandon, congrats on launching Samuru! I'll be curious what you think of running a search engine after being an SEO for so many years.
Brandon said he likes it, "we went with the approach of how can we make this impossible for Brandon Wirtz to game."
For more about this search engine, see this page.
Forum discussion at Hacker News.