blekko is a rapidly expanding allegedly “comparatively transparent” search engine that attempts to filter out content farmers / spam. It also enables you to uses slashtags ie /tags.
Their website does “feel” transparent with the provision of investor and management details plus their bill of rights. Contact details are also readily available and comprehensive (always a good sign we reckon). They also have a fairly active blog.
Their recent growth is documented in some detail in a recent searchengineland article illustrated with internal traffic analytics from blekko showing a quadrupling of traffic from December last year which they confirmed with comScore.
The reasons given by blekko’s CEO (and founder) Rich Skrenta were fivefold ranging from, improved index quality through increased visibility at trade shows/conventions to dissatisfaction with Google, the disappearance of Yahoo’s site explorer and some commercial deals with eg Lavasoft.
We couldn’t help wondering about the name which apart from having the same number of letters as Google, and being lowercase like amazon does have the advantage of an o ending so it can be extended ala blekkooooooooo if required!
We have to admit initially searching on the other search engine and finding an early (2008) Name inspector article that concludes its an “empty vessel” word with unpleasant connotations and should not be used!
Well we’ve now used the “correct” source and found out the rather complex truth which (again from 2008) traces it back to the name of Rich Skarenta’s “loved” computer “pre dating the existence of the web” We rather like the name and also like to see competition in this market place so hope to see its name prominently appearing in NetMarketShare’s statistics in the near future.
We’ve added their search box for you to give it a try (top right) – it’s meant to have a b avatar on the left of the search box which for some, unknown to us, reason hasn’t appeared. We’ll possibly try & rectify this at some future point.
We’ve also added it to our I Search page. As with the other main search engines you can customise your browser to have it as your default search engine. There’s a mobile app and some Facebook “specials”. If you use Firefox you can add blekko to your list of drop down engines from here.
And here’s their video on, in particular usage of slashtags.
Any feedback gratefully received.
We have no commercial arrangements with blekko – yet!
Update 8pm BST Recent (April 17) interview with Rich Skrenta by PageOnePower