With the Google domination of the search engines world it’s odd to find newly emerging companies trying to enhance the online searching experience and compete with Google. Odd but not impossible. Blekko emerged with the old search concept but with a little twist: “Slash tagging”.
What is slash tagging?
Everyone has had at least one google search of a given topic ending up with a list of spam links and websites relying on Blackhat SEO as top search results. A solution was needed so google developed the star rating system for result links and other filtering algorithms based on popular searches and users interests. Disregarding the success or failure of googles’ ways, blekko developed a new way to get better search results and provide the user with more functions to improve one’s searching experience.
Slash tagging is done by creating an account on blekko and making a new slash tag. You fill the name and keywords related to the slash tag and search for websites you wish to list under it. The next time someone does a search heshe can use your slash tag to filter the results.
A slash tag has the following format “/something”. A search using a slash tag can have the following format “global warming /CO2”. Adding /CO2 after global warming will provide you with links to websites discussing global warming with regard to CO2 emissions (example), as long as /CO2 has been created by another user and the results were linked to the slash tag.
Some pre-existing slash tags exist, such as “/date” which filters results based on a descending order of the publishing dates.
A small video published by blekko explain to a certain extent the use of blekko and slashtags, the video is hosted on viemo and below is a link to it:
Result link tools
Another nice feature provided by blekko is the result link tools. These tools provide you with, for the sake of example, SEO data of a given link:
Another example would be the similar tool which when clicked provides you with a list of similar websites if existing:
In addition these tools can be accessible via small anchor links beneath the URL title in a result population or via slash tags /SEO or /similar example: http://google.com /similar
Blekko offered something new to the field of online searching, however as primary as it is, I can see many problems revolving around slash tagging and allowing users to make their own slash tags. I can already think of many black hat SEO techniques to abuse this concept in order to elevate the ranking of their links and websites.
Blekko is still in beta version which means it’s not officially released yet, and many bugs might popup while using it, so make sure to report any bugs via the “file bugs” feature located on the left section of the search population page.
You can also download blekko’s toolbar, but meh … who likes toolbars anyway!