Monday a new search engine launched in beta form offering a feature that supposedly filters out spam sites and those of poor quality. Called Blekko, the service is backed by millions in venture capital and promises full transparency with its search ranking data.
"When we started this company our goal was to build a search engine that not only let you do your usual searches but also lets you do searches that you just can't do anywhere else," Blekko chief executive Rich Skrenta said.
The search filtering is based on the company's "slashtag" technology, a tool comprised of recommended websites submitted by users. Searches can thus be refined by using the slashtag filtering system rather than trolling through all the highways and shifty, dark alleys comprising the Internet.
As an example, users can enter "iphone /tech /date" to receive results only from trusted tech-oriented websites in chronological order. Search results also offer five options--"tag" for adding the link to an existing slashtag, "seo" for viewing detailed SEO information, "links" to see inbound links for that particular url, "cache" to see a cached version, and "spam" for adding a website to your /spam slashtag.
Skrenta said that not everyone has to participate in order for the slashtag model to work. "Most people don't edit Wikipedia, yet we have a vast encyclopedia which long ago dwarfed the closed Britannica," he said. "But a small fraction of the Web audience that does get involved can help make the search experience better for everyone else."
Upon visiting the search engine for the first time, users will notice a social element right away--the ability to share custom-created slashtags with other users. New users can create an account and "follow" other user slashtags, send global messages, and integrate the account with Facebook and Twitter. Blekko has also created slashtags users can utilize immediately.
Could Blekko consume a slice of the Google pie? Despite many attempts by other search engines, Microsoft's Bing and Yahoo! have only succeeded in coming close to dethroning the search engine giant. That has yet to happen, and the launch of the Android and Chrome operating systems only stabilizes its foundation. Still, Blekko shows promise--especially with its built-in social feature.
To see a demonstration, head here.