Blekko: The Newest Search Engine

By: John C. Dvorak

Yes, Google is great, but Blekko, which relies on human input, may be better., a new search engine that uses human input to help it sort out the world, is getting a lot of press today, including a lot of "Another search engine, who needs it? Google is better." send-offs. Yes, Google is the greatest search engine as of now, but that doesn't mean it cannot be beaten by some new algorithm or a better idea. Blekko is going for a better idea.

Blekko, in fact, adds so much weird dimensionality that out of all the recently hyped search engine ideas, such as, I find it the most interesting. I do not say this often.

The first thing I do, of course, with a new engine is search for myself. I do not do this because I'm vain, but because I know exactly what should appear and in what order. Most writers, like myself, with a high-profile on the Internet use this same trick to see if a search engine is any good.

Blekko nails the search. When I search for myself, one of the following items should appear at the top of the search: my blog at and After that, I expect to see links to my short bio, my wiki entry, PCMag, Mevio, Marketwatch, NoAgendashow, or other newer sites where I'm active. Google nails this every time. Yahoo always used to screw it up completely. Bing mostly nails it except for adding oddball links that have nothing to do with me. Most low-budget wannabees just make a mess with old links that have lingered for a decade.

Anyway, after it passed the initial screening, I tried to put it to work. Unlike other search engines, Blekko has added these odd little sublinks right under the link title to tag, seo, links, cache, ip, chatter, and spam.


Tag - While this is nothing that Google cannot copy, it would be interesting to see if it actually does copy the idea. The tag link allows registered users of the system to add important tags that may apply to the site. This would be useful for future site users, but has the potential to be abused by both users and site owners. We'll see how far it gets.

SEO - This is fabulous information for site owners. It's essentially search-engine optimization information like ranking, inbound links, crawl stats, and more. You can compare sites and have a lot of time-wasting fun.

Links - This is a listing of the main sites that link to the page. Amusing.

Cache - This is a cache of the site which is useful if the site goes down. Google has already made this an important feature. It takes boatloads of computers to do this right.

IP - This shows the IP address under which the site is operating. When you click on it, you see other sites which use the same IP. This is a real eye-opener, to say the least.

Chatter - This seems to be a Twitter-like feature that allows you to tell others what you are up to regarding the site you are visiting.

Spam - This allows logged-in users to tag a site as spam. This would help eliminate many of the commercial sites that clog up search results. But it could also be abused. We'll see how this works out.

And tools hidden from view, which I expect to appear as additional features, are: dup, which shows duplicate content on the site; rss, which takes you directly to the RSS feed; site, which gives a site search; and similar, which shows similar sites. All of these seem to be useful and direct tools.

I recommend Blekko. It's the best out-of-the-chute new engine I've seen in the last 10 years, seriously.,2817,2371864,00.asp


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