Blekko is a search engine that allows users to add slashtags to filter results of queries, allowing users to define searches.
Blekko was founded in June of 2007 by Rich Skrenta and a core team from Topix and Open Directory. Blekko.com was launched to the public in November, 2010. In 2011, the company started using "AdSpam", a new algorithm which helps detect and block content farms from appearing in search results. In the fall of the same year, Blekko raised $30 million from Yandex, Venture Partners, CMEA Capital and others, bringing its total funding to $55 million.
Blekko uses slashtags to filter search results so that only the most relevant are provided. There are several slashtag suggestions provided so that users can utilize them while determining their own slashtag preferences.
The find slashtags link is a good place to start, once an account has been created. There are tags for topics, built-ins, and users, as well as shortcuts. Users unfamiliar with the slashtag concept should visit the video section and view the overview.
The section of user slashtags yields a list of featured users and the slashtags that they have created, but the best way to become familiar with using blekko is to jump in and create a search. As with Google, suggestions for slashtags will appear as the search is entered. Results may be sorted by relevance or date and users may view SEO, links, cached versions, IP, info, or add a tag to any result. Users may also indicate a result as spam and it will be blocked from future searches.
Each result has options for further exploration. The SEO info shows the ranking information clearly with inbound links, crawl stats, site pages, and more. Info yields a brief description of the site that is identified in the result. Links indicates other sites linking to the page.
The main drawback to blekko is having to figure out how to use slashtags effectively.
A username, email address, and password are required to create an account. Next, the user is asked to enter their real name, a short bio, web URL, and Twitter name. An image may be uploaded for avatar use as well.
Blekko is free to use.
Anyone ready to spend the time to learn how to effectively use the slashtag system will eventually be rewarded with better targeted, filtered search results and more effective searches.