Back in 2008, a new search engine emerged, promising to be bigger and better than Google. It was named Cuil, and it silently disappeared off the Internet in September 2010.
On 1 November 2010, a new search engine has launched, aiming to providing better results than Google. Enter Blekko, which offers a new way to quickly filter through search results: the slashtag. Blekko describe them in the following way:
“slashtags search only the sites you want and cut out the spam sites. use friends, experts, community or your own slashtags to slash in what you want and slash out what you don’t.”
This is actually very useful for research, with Google seemingly degenerating into a bloated index of everything and focusing their ranking algorithms on things other than relevance (such as load times of web pages, which has no bearing on relevance).
Blekko have posted a Web Search Bill of Rights that are certainly an appealing departure from Google’s arcane and secretive formula for ranking sites:
- 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 & community go hand-in-hand
- Spam does not belong in search results
- Privacy of searchers shall not be violated
An impressive vision of search for the masses. And the ability to check out the SEO rating of a site or page is great (and I suspect this will garner usage from people who continue to optimise their sites for Google).
However, it remains to be seen as to whether Blekko can unseat Google as the beginning, middle, and end of search. I have a couple of doubts:
- Blekko just doesn’t have a great ring to it.
- Slashtags are a great idea, but seem a little more geeky than the lazy man’s googling of the net.
- Involving People sounds great, but can it be subverted by the internet marketers who wish to promote their spammy links and products by fair means and foul?
I suspect that Blekko might find favour amongst the geeks and anti-the Google crowd, but I suspect it will take something a little more startling than slashtags to rival the current king of search. I highly recommend you go and experiment with Blekko search.