Reasons to Use the Mojeek Search API


30 March 2023

5 min

a shot of the top of the Mojeek Web Search API landing page

Search services like DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, and Yahoo get almost all their search results via the Bing search engine API. A few use a Google API to get search results, like Startpage. At Mojeek we have always had API customers, but recently we are seeing increased demand. This is undoubtedly due to our improved search quality and growing index. Two newer reasons, linked to generative AI, have also come to the fore.

The first reason is that the flurry of interest in the usage of search, for chatbots and machine learning applications, is fuelling renewed interest in search data. Secondly, Microsoft have announced a huge increase in prices for their Bing API. Of course OpenAI are closely tied with Microsoft, who arguably are looking for either an investment return, or to squeeze out emerging competitors to ChatGPT and Bing.

Let's dive into a number of reasons why you might consider using the Mojeek search API...

1. Lower Cost

As of 1st May 2023, the lowest cost for Bing Web Search API results is $15 per thousand queries; representing a 500% price increase. Whilst we don’t publicise our price list, you can rest assured we offer prices significantly lower than this.

Google no longer offer a full API service like that of Bing and Mojeek, so you can only use their Programmable Search Engine. This is available for $5 per thousand queries, but there are two major restrictions. Firstly, though hard to demonstrate, this is not access to the full Google index, so unlike Mojeek you do not get full search index access. Secondly, there is a daily query limit of 10,000, which amounts to an average of about 1 query every 9 seconds.

2. More Data

You can also extract more results per query with Mojeek. On our standard plans you can get up to 40 results, but we also currently offer up to 100 results. Bing can provide up to 50 results. With Google you are limited to only 10 results per query.

As mentioned you get access to the full Mojeek search index and with the API you can always get results up to the top 1,000 query matches. This is considerably more than you can obtain from others; notably Google (100) and Bing, whose number is variable and unknown, but almost always less than 300, and often considerably less. How this works for the Mojeek web search service is explained here, and the same logic applies also to the API.

Another data advantage of using the Mojeek API is the control you have over the length of snippets. By default these are a similar length to what you may obtain with Bing or Google, but importantly this length can be controlled by the user. You can also request snippets of considerable length; up to 511 characters.

3. Display Freedom

With the Bing API, as stated in the terms you may not “display data received from the Search APIs on the same page as content from any general web search engine, Large Language Models (LLMs) or advertising network.”

With the Mojeek API you are free to combine results, and display them with data from any search engine or large language model. This includes chatbots, noting that general dialogue chatbots are large language models that have been tuned.

Furthermore with the Bing API “unless required by law or agreed to by Microsoft” you are not able to “reorder, including by omission, the results displayed in an answer when an order or ranking is provided” or “modify the results content (other than to reformat them in a way that does not violate any other requirement)”.

With the Mojeek API you are free to reorder results, and to modify their content.

These freedoms allow you to do numerous things. For example, combine Mojeek search results with a chatbot or answer-like response from a large language model. You could also combine together Mojeek search results with another search provider, if they allow it, or with your own search index results.

4. Advertising Freedom

If you are using the Bing API you are not allowed to “display advertising that is not provided by Microsoft on any page that displays any part of a response”.

If you using the Mojeek API we leave it to customers to decide how they might want to serve up advertising. You are, of course, also free to not engage in advertising at all and to work with any advertising model and partners as you wish.

5. Chatbots, Large Language Models and Machine Learning

With the Bing API, you may not “use data received from the Search APIs as part of any machine learning or similar algorithmic activity.”

At Mojeek, we allow you to use our API to develop and deploy algorithms, including machine learning. As mentioned above, the user control over and longer length of snippets can be particularly useful when using the Mojeek API for machine learning applications and chatbots.

An example of the Mojeek API being used is in the Large Language Model SeeKeR, which is itself used in the chatbot BlenderBot 3.

If you are interested in testing the Mojeek API, please get in touch through the API page. We can provide you with a free trial API key, should you wish to test it out, and details about pricing.


30 March 2023

5 min

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