Slashing the Web with Blekko

After three years of development alternative search engine Blekko went live in beta this November. The brand-new search engine offers a feature that just might attract some searchers away from Google

 or Bing. Introducing a new way of search filtering, the company’s “slashtag” technology allows users to conduct “vertical” searches, exploring only one particular topic instead of getting results that are extremely varied in relevance to what you are actually looking for.

Carrying the slogan “Slash the Web”, Blekko offers you a unique method of search refinement. Of course, you can merely enter your search query into the search box, but that won’t reveal the full power of Blekko as a search engine. Instead, mix your search queries with so-called “slashtags” – predetermined search filters that restrict your search to a particular set of websites. The slashtags can be edited and generated by Blekko as well as its users which makes it possible for groups of knowledgeable people to combine their efforts to create remarkable web filters.

The so-called built-ins are hundreds of slashtags already made by the Blekko. When you do a search you can combine your query with more than one slashtag for customised searching, like “iphone /tech /date”. This way, it will generate results only from trusted tech-oriented websites sorted by date. Blekko’s search results also offer 5 options: 1) “tag” for adding the link to an existing slashtag; 2) “seo” for viewing detailed SEO information; 3) “links” to see inbound links for that particular URL; 4) “cache” to see a cached version; and 5) “spam” for adding a website to your /spam slashtag.

Founded by Rich Skrenta and Mike Markson in 2007, Blekko is no replacement for Google but an excellent alternative to it, allowing for vertical, highly customised searches. Promising full transparency with its search ranking data, Blekko published a web search bill of rights that maintains the importance of transparency and human intervention.

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