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Friday, January 20, 2012

blekko--A New Option In Search

A new kind of Search Engine?

Here are a few interesting additions to the search community:

blekko's mission: provide a differentiated editorial voice in search.
Search is the starting point for accessing information. A search engine is an editorial product. The algorithms that determine search results are created by humans and contain an editorial bias. Users deserve a choice in the editorial voice of their search engine.

blekko's Editorial Voice

Quality vs Quantity: blekko biases towards quality sites. We do not attempt to gather all of the world's information. We purposefully bias our index away from sites with low quality content.
Source based, not link based: blekko does NOT rely solely on link based authority.Too many people engage in efforts to game search by linking for purposes other than navigation. blekko relies on human beings and their judgement of the authority of sources to dictate search results.
Spam Free: blekko includes results from sites whose primary purpose is information, not monetization. Sites created solely to game search engines are not included in our results.
Human Curation: blekko believes that human beings should be involved in determining search results. Our community of users tag pages and sites for us every day to help insure the highest quality of search results.
Open and Transparent: blekko makes freely available to its users all of the data that provide the underpinning of our search results. This includes web data, ranking information and the curation efforts of our users.
There are more than 10 relevant results for every day queries such as "las vegas hotels" or "turducken recipes." We believe our results for these queries are better, but we leave that up to the user. The important point is that users have a choice.

Searching with blekko

blekko search results provide information and tools you can use to make decisions and improve your own search experience.

Content Box

Some searches will have a content box that appears above the search results. This box gives a quick snippet of information depending on the slashtag used.
screenshot Examples:
san jose, ca /weather | green lantern /movies | berkeley /map | verisimilitude /define

Top Search Area

The Top bar includes the search box and the slashtag bar. The top bar is fixed in place by default but you can change this in prefs.
Search box – enter your query and slashtags and hit “search” to search blekko, e.g., alpha dog /movies.
# of results – the number of results are shown. If a slashtag was used, there will be a link to that slashtag.
Sort options – /relevance is the usual default option, but you can change the sort order to /date or /likes. /date will order the results by date while /likes will only show results from you and your friends’ Facebook likes.
Slashtags – suggested based on your query. You can also access your own slashtags by clicking on the arrow next to your username.
Share – click the drop down to share the search result page on either Facebook or Twitter.

What is a slashtag?

A slashtag is an easy-to-create custom search engine. It is a tool used to filter search results and helps you to search only high quality sites, without spam or content farms.

Example: /health
Search keyword /health and trusted sites like will come up and more appear high in your results with content farms and spam sites banished entirely.
There are 3 types of slashtags:
topical – Created by blekko and curated by experts, topical slashtags are built to search only top sites for specific topics like health, tech, recipes, etc.
user – User slashtags are created by you or other members of the blekko community. You can personalize your own slashtags with sites you trust.
built-in – Built-in slashtags are programmed in the back-end by blekko and perform specific search functions, such as /date or /blogs.