Today we are releasing a major upgrade to blekko. The new blekko has significant improvements to index quality and relevance. We are also now automatically applying slashtags for over 500 categories. That means users will get the benefit of curated search results (i.e. no spam!) for over 500 search categories, regardless of whether or not they manually append a slashtag to their query.
The results in action can be pretty eye opening:
But, as usual, don’t take our word for it – compare the difference yourself. Just do a search on blekko and add /monte to any query.
As we head into 2012, our mission at blekko is more important than ever. If you think about it, prior to the internet the newspaper was the offline equivalent of the search engine. It was the starting spot where people went to get their news, job listings, personals, movies listings, classifieds, etc. Competing editorial voices were a hallmark of competition in the newspaper business and readers benefited because they had choice.
Online, the world has changed. Search is now the access point to information. But unlike the newspaper world, there are not a lot of people competing in search. We believe this is bad for users because at the end of the day, search engines are editorial products. In the newspaper world human beings wrote the articles with their editorial voice. In the search world human beings write the algorithms that make up the search results. Currently, there is one predominant editorial voice that dictates access to information.
Our goal is to give users the benefit of an alternative editorial voice in search. What is blekko’s editorial voice? Here’s our approach:
Quality: We purposefully bias our index away from sites with low quality content.
Source based, not link based ranking: regardless of how many people link to healthspamsite.com, we believe sites like the Mayo Clinic, NIH.gov, etc. are better sites. On blekko, brands trump links.
Spam-Free: blekko hates spam. We want users to get their information from quality sites designed to inform, not just monetize.
Human Curation: Their are subject matter experts in the community that will know more about specific topics than anyone in this office or any other office for that matter. We want to include these experts in our search experience, not exclude them.
Open and Transparent: blekko makes freely available to its users all of the data that provide the underpinning of our search results.
We believe that users will like the results our editorial voice delivers better than the competition. The important point though is that there is an alternative choice. The access point to information is too important and users deserve choice.