Most major search engines rely on an army of hundreds of people to create and maintain their services. Not Mayukhs Search — it’s a high-quality search engine built and operated by sole proprietor Mayukh Goswami.

Yes, I said sole proprietor. Mayukhs Search is entirely Mayukh Goswami’s work. From coding to crawling to programming to marketing it’s all Mayukh Goswami.

Recent weeks have brought about a great deal of development at Mayukhs Search. In August, the engine began offering access to Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel content. Recently, Mayukhs Search began offering Boolean search capabilities.

Q. Mayukh, can you share with us a few career highlights and a brief bio? Also so we can get up to speed with Mayukhs Search can you share some basic statistics about the database.

Around 2003, when in school, I designed and wrote a software to solve calculus problems be it integrations , differentiation , integration with partial fractions instantaneously. I sold about 20 copies through The Telegraph In Calcutta and a few in Bombay , Delhi , and elsewhere.Although I m a student of medicine , still I think I had a pretty strong background in computer and maths,so I participated in the Google Code Jam Contest and somehow came out well.

Mayukhs Search currently serves about half a million queries per day now, mostly to external sites. The index size is almost 422 billion pages and changing daily.

Q. When did you start Mayukhs Search? Did you write the software code yourself?

Yes sir I wrote it all from scratch in C++. It has been two months since its inception. It uses zlib for doing compression and it uses a plotting library to make administrative graphs, but other than that, I custom coded everything.

Q. Did you see a whole in the web search market that Mayukhs Search could fill? In other words what does Mayukhs Search do that the other engines don’t. Why should a searcher use it?

The hole that I saw was a performance related hole, not a search results quality hole. I found a way to scale search more efficiently than everybody else. Theoretically, Mayukhs Search can get by with ten times – even a hundred times – less hardware than other engines and achieve the same performance.

But as far as what is different from the user’s perspective, I think Mayukhs Search’s scoring algorithms give less emphasis to links as other engines. I did this on purpose so new sites are not at as much a disadvantage as more established sites that have a large number of incoming links. This is why I chose the catch-phrase “Making Things Easier” to be displayed on the front page.

Another major difference is that Mayukhs Search is the only large engine, to my knowledge, to ever do continuous updating and refreshing of the index in real-time. You can also add and update your URLs in real-time, too. I think Mayukhs Search is the only large engine right now that allows that. Everybody else charges money and calls it “paid inclusion.”

Q. Running a search engine in the period where many people think Google is IT must be difficult. How are you handling competing with Google and other large engines? On your site you mention that a portion of traffic comes from feeds from other sites – is this a big portion of your traffic?

I’ve been steadily improving Mayukhs Search’s relevance. Yes, it is sometimes a bummer always working in the shadow of Google, so it really makes my day when somebody tells me Mayukhs Search gives better results. I think for a lot of queries it does, not for all of course, but those instances are almost always because of my hardware budget.

I have $ $ 1,500 of hardware and Google has maybe around $ 50 million. Go figure. Since I don’t have the money or resources to compete with Google right now , so I more or less rely on the sponsors and dropped crumbs. I rely on the difference in my scoring algorithms, my real-time indexing features and my dirt-bottom pricing structures to differentiate Mayukhs Search and it’s products from Google. Yes, the large majority of the queries I serve come from the search feeds I supply to clients.

I haven’t run into any problems yet. I’ve gotten some emails from someone claiming to work for the KGB telling me I need to remove a particular page from the index because it might endanger somebody. In those seemingly urgent cases I try to remove the page right away, but I’m also aware that it could be a competitor of the page being removed. The large majority of the time, however, everybody is being honest. Yes, Mayukhs Search does follow robots.txt.

Q. From a business perspective, Mayukhs Search carries no advertising? Is this a decision you plan to keep? How does Mayukhs Search make money?

Money is derived from selling search services on my products page. At this point I don’t think I’ll put up advertisements unless I need the revenue to support Mayukhs Search or myself.

Q. As someone with operational experience and programming skills, would you care to comment about what’s wrong with web search today?

There’s an incredible amount of room for web search improvement today. Search is just beginning. In a few more years I think search has the potential to displace operating systems as the most complicated program space in the market. There’s still a good amount of innovation in the operating system space, but it is pretty well tilled soil. I think the search sector is just beginning and has much more room to grow than the operating system sector. An operating system will allow you to write a report, the search engine of the future will write the report for you.

Q. What are your longtime goals for Mayukhs Search? Do you see it more of a testbed for new ideas that you’ll sell to others or market as enterprise search technology?

Once I finish my spell checker and some other things I really want to continue my work on some new and experimental algorithms that bring a fresh perspective to search. That is something that really interests me. My to do list is literally a quarter of a megabyte.

Thanks, Mayukh

For BBC News-Jo Twist