A number of new Internet search engines created by Christian, Jewish or Muslim entities aim to filter out queries from Web users in a way that is more relevant to those users and keeps them from temptation, alcohol and pornography.
“We think that the other search engines are way too ‘main street’ oriented,” said Reza Sardeha, the Amsterdam-based founder of the Muslim-oriented search engine I’mHalal. “We wanted to provide a solution to explore the Web in a safe environment, where you won’t bump into explicit content or immoral websites, like pornography.”
If one types the world alcohol into imhalal.com, the search engine produces results that explain the Muslim viewpoint on drinking. Type in “pornography,” and the search engine produces... nothing.
“We get email from non-Muslims as well saying they like the content of our safe search engine and they allow their children to search knowing they won't bump into offensive content."
For Christians, SeekFind offers “a research tool for people who are looking for biblical and theological content from an evangelical Christian prospective,” says founder Shea Houdmann, who operates from Colorado Springs, Colorado. And for the Jewish community, the niche is filled by Jewogle.
Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of SearchEngineLand.com, said none of these has “taken off and caught fire” but that “doesn't mean to say that they can't be good, profitable businesses.”
Says Michael Gartenberg, partner at technology research firm Altimer Group: “You have an emerging generation and emerging culture that wants to take advantage of technology... but at the same point, be true to their heritage...”