The whole point of a search engine is to help the user to try and find the information, product or service they need as quickly as possible.
Rich Skrenta, the CEO of six-month old search engine Blekko, feels that this is not done as efficiently as it could be by the big-name search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
He argues that the results pages for these sites bring back far too much spam and low quality content than is necessary, which makes for a very cumbersome search.
What Blekko is trying to do is eliminate all of these factors to get you to the content you want faster and easier.
Blekko has set out to rid SERPs of spam and create a search engine where users have far more control over which results they see, allowing them to use their own judgement to create the criteria they want to search.
One of the key ways in which Blekko does is through their innovative ‘slashtags’, which work in a very similar way to Twitter’s hashtags, in that including one in your search query will bring back all results in the category you have chosen.
Currently, Blekko has around 100 slashtags, including topics such as ‘flowers’, ‘money’ and ‘parenting’, which have been user-created so that only high quality sites will be returned for any query in that category.
Spam and low quality sites such as eHow will no longer come up when Blekko users search within these slashtags.
The benefits of this can be sampled on the Blekko search page, where users can see the results of a search query from three different sources – Blekko, Google and Bing.
You can choose to match up the lists to the search engines straight away, or pick the one you like best and see which search engine it belongs to.
In many cases, the other search engines will return pages that Blekko has blocked, and they hope that this means they are returning better content for their users.
Blekko currently has around 900,000 users running roughly 50million search queries per month, obviously a substantially smaller amount that the two big names it is seeking to outshine. However, many other small search engines have fallen by the wayside this year, and yet Blekko has held firm.
CEO Skrenta is now hoping to achieve around 5-10 times as many hits in the coming months, and if the Blekko philosophy catches on, he might just achieve it.