Blekko is the anti-Google. The small “alternative” search engine made its mark by being the engine that “slashes the web” to produce more targeted, relevant search results. It bills itself as being low-spam, low-malware, and low-content farm. Its recent “Zorro Update” doesn’t focus on “slashing out spam,” like the Panda Update from Google; instead it tackles aesthetic issues and auto-including up to 1000 slashtags. What will the changes on Blekko look like for users?
One change that users are likely to notice immediately is the link color. Once red, Blekko has switched over to blue – a choice that makes its links look very much like those from Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Blekko has also worked on de-cluttering its display. The bar on the left is gone, and the information that would have been contained there is instead placed in a “less obtrusive” location, which is underneath the search box. Here, you can refine your searches and search by /date, /images, or /videos.
On the right side of the screen, users will see one element per page to reduce clutter. The elements are:
• “People who make this search better.” This links you to contributors or editors of the slashtags you’re using.
• Discuss on Facebook.
• Browse or create slashtags.
• Slashtag of the day.
• “Facebook connect with Blekko” option.
• Link to the Blekkogear page.
Zorro also changed some backend features. Until now, only a handful of slashtags have been auto-included in searches. Blekko expanded this to about 1000. What does this mean for users? That more of the results will be hand-picked and “known to have high quality content.” It also produces more relevant results.
According to TechCrunch, “Search for ‘pregnancy tips’ and you’ll see to slash tags, for /pregnancy and /health, and quite good results compared to Google. But on Blekko you’re not done. Click on one of those slash tags to drill down into results relevant to that tag. Answer relevance goes even higher. On Google, you’d have to visit the next page of results, or rephrase your query. Both are time-consuming.”
Blekko wants to distinguish itself from Google; it seems like Zorro has helped them do this even more effectively.