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What search engine is the right one to use? CC by Philipbradley/Flickr

In a web overrun with spam, Blekko is a search engine that promises to fight back. Blekko officially opened Monday with a public beta. The Internet search company claims to offer higher quality results by filtering out sites that seek to draw traffic with keywords surrounded by junk content. Slashtags enable Blekko to act as a vertical search engine for any topic that generates more specific sources of relevant information.

Using Blekko slashtags

All of the pointless links that content farms put out hurt search engine results. This is something Blekko wants to avoid. The approach called “slashtags” is what the Blekko founders have been working on for three years in secret. Searches become more fine-tuned with slashtags. This will make it so less garbage shows up in a search with more relevant information. Sites that match the slashtag will show up in a Blekko search. ”Global warming/climate” would create a search in Blekko slashtags that would search global warming with the tag about climate related issues. The slashtag is “climate.” You would type in “global warming/conservative” if you wanted to find conservative political views about global warming on Blekko. For the most recent content on the climate related issues of global warming, type “global warming/climate/date.”

The development of Blekko slashtags

Automatically edited results from Blekko come from seven areas. Health, recipes, autos, hotels, song lyrics, personal finance and colleges are all areas Blekko says have more spam than normal. Some pre-selected slashtags are also available for users who are searching from Blekko. Blekko has been refining its search formula with 8,000 beta testers who have sifted through web sites to compile a list of more than 3,000 slashtags. Blekko users can also apply to be slashtag editors and provide feedback on specific slashtags.

Humans will be a part of Blekko searches

Blekko is a more useful search engine than Google’s, according to Claire Cain Miller at the New York Times. Miller searched “pregnancy tips.” The only match on Google and Blekko in Miller’s search results was cdc.gov, which is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Blekko’s top 10 showed other government sites, a nonprofit group and established parenting sites. OfficialDatingResource.com was one of the picks in Google’s top 10. Google uses special algorithms that can’t tell much of a difference between a content farm and an expert. Humans are Blekko’s key to remedying this.

Information from

New York Times: http://nytimes.com/2010/11/01/technology/01search.html?_r=2&ref=business

Search Engine Land: http://searchengineland.com/blekko-the-slashtag-search-engine-goes-live-54447

Mashable: http://mashable.com/2010/09/09/blekko/

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