Blekko Search Slashes Out the Best Content

Have you searched the web for too long already and still cannot find what you are looking for?

If so, upstart search engine Blekko may do the trick.  Blekko uses slashtags to get the job done.  These are tags that eliminate spammy results to bring you the most relevant content.

There Are Lots of Search Engines

Most of the newer search engines leave something to be desired.  While they all have some cool attributes, the dozen or so I’ve used over the past year have been buggy and slow to load.

However, today I was doing some research on the snow and ice management industry (snow plowing and ice control) in preparation for a couple of socal media presentations I’ll be giving later this week at their annual symposium.

While checking out a recent article I had written for Snow Business magazine today, I noticed statistics that indicated 66% of the industry does not use social media at all. It’s a bit startling, but the truth is this is actually about average for mainstream small businesses.

So, I wanted to learn about companies that were using it well, and Blekko delivered those deep results.

Blekko uses its proprietary search engine to curate content based upon the “editorial judgment of the expert community” – which I presume is you and me, based upon previous searches, with slashtags serving to pull it all together.

So, the more Blekko is used, the more accurate (and less spammy) the search results will get.  This is theoretically how the Facebook Like and Google+1 buttons work.

The difference with Blekko is they actually exclude content by red-tagging low-quality sites as blocked.

The Shift Towards Social Search

All of this is a further indication of the dramatic shift toward social search, one with which Google and Bing are fully engaged.  This extensive article on the 3 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Social Search that I wrote for Social Media Examiner will give you a solid understanding for optimizing your small business for both major search engines.

It’s interesting that search engines updates are now given names. Google’s internal name for their recent (and controversial) update was Panda, which you can learn about from the aforementioned article.  Blekko’s update is called Zorro – and they evidently chose the name of that legendary masked man for a reason.

The 3 Engine Monte Competition

At the heart of the Zorro update is the 3 Engine Monte competition, which uses a monte slashtag. It’s named after the card game.  Using the Monte slashtag provides side-by-side search results against Bing and Google.

You will note that Bing favors social results from Facebook, as we’ve previously discussed, and Google others. Blekko’s results are a combination of both, and more.

You may have trouble activating the 3 Engine Monte competition because the link is difficult to find.  If you look at the image above of the Blekko home page, it’s at the bottom center – right below the three aces.  You will also have to check the little query box that says “show search engines” so you can identify whose results belong to whom.

The easiest way to better learn how Blekko works is to watch the following short video.

I hope you find Blekko as useful as I do.  And by all means, please share how it’s working for you.

blekko: how to slash the web from blekko on Vimeo.

Leave a comment below or share this with your social community on Facebook or Twitter.  You may also wish to try the Google+1 button in the red bar at the bottom of your browser.

Until tomorrow,  Jeff

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Comments

  1. Jeff,

    I just played with Blekko for a few minutes this morning.

    What a time saver and informational machine!

    Not only can I find more topics for my blog, I can sort them by date, competition (SEO),
    etc. I can instantly find images that relate to my search, etc. It also gives me ideas on things I probably never would have thought of.

    This one hint from you will save me hours, if not days of search.

    Thank you so much!

    I always learn from you and I tell people about your blog…even my wife thinks you’re wonderful.

    You’re like Yoda and Mr. Miyagi all rolled into one.

    Thanks again,
    -Rich

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Dr Rich – I’m afraid I wasn’t much of a Star Wars fan so I don’t know much about Yoda.

      However, I’m a big Mr Miyagi fan – having even recently blogged from inspiration from The Karate Kid film: http://bit.ly/kod8yg :)

      All the best,

      Jeff

  2. I fully understand and agree that Blekko is targeting quality. However, I’m finding the process of creating one’s own slashtags somewhat interesting. For instance currently, if I understand correctly, there is no auto-slashtag for “Finland”. So Blekko is asking me to create my own slashtag for my home country, and associate it to any relevant sites. Feels like I’m searching my mind rather than the Internet. My first impression was great, but when digging deeper I’m not quite as convinced with regards to using hashtags when they are not auto-suggested. It takes quite a lot of effort to create these tags.

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Meri – I agree with your assessment on self-created tags. However, as I understand this the effort will be worth it.

      As you curate content under your self-created tags, you not only help yourself, but you also establish yourself as an authority for others in your community that use that slashtag.

      That said, what I’ve found most useful are combining multiple slashtags.

      Jeff

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  1. [...] Blekko is one search engine that has recently put a spotlight on this situation by challenging the two search giants (who control 95% of the search chess board) to a side-by-side comparison against Blekko’s results via their 3 Engine Monte competition. [...]

  2. [...] different content.  Use Twitter, Twitter Advanced Search, and social search engines such as Blekko, Social Mention, and [...]

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