FAROO Web Search

Faroo was a German search engine developed by Bernard Lunn and Wolf Garbe. A web search engine and a news search engine were offered. Technically, it was a peer-to-peer search engine. Instead of a central server, a distributed crawler was used to store the search data on the users' computers. Whenever a user visited a website, it was automatically indexed and distributed to the network. The ranking was based on a comparison of user usage statistics, such as web pages visited, time spent on each page and whether the pages were bookmarked or printed.

Language English

Launched 2008
Closed June 2018

Developer Bernard Lunn and Wolf Garbe

Country of Origin Germany

2008 - 2018 FAROO Ltd.

Topic Universal

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Peer-to-peer SeEn
Open source based search engine
Crawler-based, algorithmic SeEn
Real Time Search

Used SeEn Faroo

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

Faroo: »2007 : TechCrunch40 Finalist - Public beta of FAROO P2P // 2008 : FAROO Ltd. founded, based in London // 2009 : Series A investment by Solina Chau & Li Ka Shing Foundation - Launch of FAROO Real-time Search // 2010 : Largest P2P Web search engine with over 2.5 million peers -Launch of FAROO iPad/iPhone App // 2011 : Improved Ranking: 81% preference over Google (tested on Amazon Mechanical Turk) - Unified Search Platform: Web & News Search for web, mobile, p2p & API clients - New Instant Search, Trend Discovery, Topic Aggregation, Improved iPad App // 2012 : China Launch: Chinese App, Chinese gateway servers, Chinese Homepage // 2013 : Launch of Free Search API // 2015 : API already used by over 4,200 companies & developers« Source

Wikipedia: »FAROO is a universal web search engine based on peer-to-peer technology. It uses a distributed crawler that stores search data on users' computers instead of a central server. Whenever a user visits a website, it is automatically indexed and distributed to the network. Ranking is done by comparing usage statistics of users, such as web pages visited, amount of time spent on each page, and whether the pages were bookmarked or printed.« Source


Critical points

Features & Functionality

CHRIS MORRISON (2007): »The service lets people download an application, so that they can contribute their searches and computer power to a shared search engine. Faroo follows what people search for, what result pages they look at, how long they they look at them, and whether they bookmark them. That way, they use people’s actions to rank a page higher in results.« Source


References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others): n.a.

Other Sources

Press coverage URL:
Faroo Blog URL:
Startup Meme (14 May, 2007): Faroo Employees P2P Technology to Search and Index the Web URL:

Created: 2013-01-22