Blekko home page
Type of site
|Launched||November 1, 2010|
|4,382 (April 2014[update])|
Blekko, trademarked as blekko (lowercase), is a company that provides a web search engine with the stated goal of providing better search results than those offered by Google Search, with results gathered from a set of 3 billion trusted webpages and excluding such sites as content farms. The company's site, launched to the public on November 1, 2010, uses slashtags to provide results for common searches. Blekko also offers a downloadable search bar.
The company was co-founded in 2007 by Rich Skrenta, who had created Newhoo, which was acquired by Netscape and renamed as the Open Directory Project. Skrenta "is still remembered most for unleashing the Elk Cloner virus on the world". Blekko has raised $24 million in venture capital from such individuals as Netscape founder Marc Andreessen and Ron Conway, as well as from U.S. Venture Partners and CMEA Capital. The company's goal was to be able to provide useful search results without the extraneous links often provided by Google. Individuals who enter searches for such frequently searched categories as cars, finance, health and hotels will receive results prescreened by Blekko editors who will use what the New York Times described as "Wikipedia-style policing" to weed out pages created by content farms and focus on results from professionals. Use of slashtags will restrict the set of search results to those matching the specified characteristic and a slashtag will be automatically added for search categories with prescreened results. Queries related to personal health are limited to a prescreened list of 76 sites that Blekko editors have determined to be trustworthy, excluding many sites that rank highly in Google searches. As of Blekko's launch date, its 8,000 beta editors had developed 3,000 slashtags corresponding to the site's most frequent searches. The company hopes to use editors to develop prepared lists of the 50 sites that best match its 100,000 most frequent search targets. Additional tools allow users to see the IP address that a website is running on and let registered users label a site as spam.
At the time, Blekko announced plans to earn revenue by selling ads based on slashtags and search results. The company also planned to provide data on its algorithm for ranking search results, including details for inbound links to specific sites.
As part of a permanent post in Blekko's help section is the following "Web search bill of rights":
- Search shall be open
- Search results shall involve people
- Ranking data shall not be kept secret
- Web data shall be readily available
- There is no one-size-fits-all for search
- Advanced search shall be accessible
- Search engine tools shall be open to all
- Search and community go hand-in-hand
- Spam does not belong in search results
- Privacy of searchers shall not be violated
In 2011, Blekko announced blocking "content farmy sites", to reduce spam, in line with its bill of rights.
Blekko uses an initiative called slashtags, consisting of a text tag preceded by a "/" slash character, to allow ease of searching and categorise searches. System and pre-defined slashtags allow users to start searching right away. Users can create slashtags after signup, to perform custom-sorted searches and to reduce spam.
The following features are available to all users:
In 2010, John Dvorak described the site as adding "so much weird dimensionality" to search, and recommended it as "the best out-of-the-chute new engine I've seen in the last 10 years". In Matthew Rogers' review of the site, he found it "slow and cumbersome", and stated that he did not understand the necessity or utility for slashtags. In his PCMag.com review, Jeffrey L. Wilson expressed approval of some search results, but criticized the site's social features which "bog down the search experience."
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- Watson, Cheralyn (January 12, 2012). "How do I remove blekko as my homepage and default search engine in Internet Explorer (IE)?". help.blekko.com. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
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- Wilson, Jeffrey L. (November 3, 2010). "Blekko". PCMag.com.