Blekko: Search and Slash

November 16, 2010

Arriving just as Ask.com has walked away from the search engine game, a new face has arrived on the scene, bringing its own unique twist. What separates Blekko from the big three of Google, Bing, and Yahoo? Well, if you’ve ever performed tweet searches on Twitter using #hashtags, then Blekko’s /slashtag functionality should feel familiar.

Blekko invites users to ‘slash the web’ by incorporating slashtags along with search terms to refine their results. Some slashtags narrow the results: for example, a search conducted with the tag /conservative will only return results from websites that are tagged as having a conservative slant. Other tags, such as /date, affect the order of the search results. Some slashtags are built into the search engine, but users can create their own as well. A list of current slashtags can be found here.

Also of interest from an SEO standpoint: beneath the title of each result is a link that give breakdowns of SEO information, including pie charts, host ranking, and inbound links. This information can also be determined directly for any site by entering as the search query: http://www.sitename.com/ /seo.

Another feature of the search engine, which may endear it to users but complicate things from an SEO perspective, is the ability to flag any search result that is unhelpful or otherwise objectionable as “spam”. By setting this flag, a user is blocking that site from being returned in any future searches. In giving users the option to exert more control over the results returned from a search, Blekko may be setting themselves up to develop a small but loyal niche in the search engine community.

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