Blekko the “Google Killer”?

by Mick Higgins August 30th, 2010 

If you are unfamiliar with Blekko, it is in fact a search engine. It is in private beta testing, I managed to get my hands on a beta log in to take a peek at how this search engine may impact users and advertisers.
Blekko have a unique feature for users and advertisers. It is called “slashtags”. This feature allows users to customize searches with ease. Users can use the slash tag to include or exclude items, organizations, people, or whatever you want. I hope to shed some light on future opportunities, and what this feature might mean to SEM and SEO.

SEO

A new unique strategy that could be implemented by SEO’s using Blekko would be to build a powerful slashtag. A highly moderated slashtag could become a valuable resource to niche communities. The segmentation signifies a real time directory experience. Users will be seeing results based on relevance to their niche.
Increased focus on tagging of content. Blekko offers scope for highly targeted SEO. Consider the benefits of ranking number one for high traffic keywords within popular slashtag searches. There is potential here for influencers to create powerful slashtags, which can be augmented by the built in slashtags such as “/news” or “/blogs”.

Blekko offers some really great SEO metrics at the click of a mouse. On every search result there is an SEO tab where you can dive right in to a world of wonderful pie charts, metrics, and other useful information.

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The interface boasts all the features of Yahoo site explorer and open site explorer, but also shows where your content is being duplicated around the web, or vice versa (shame on you). Blekko also offer some really great graphics on global and domestic link distribution illustrated below.

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PPC

Slashtags offer increased targeting for PPC campaigns. It’s almost like Blekko are pushing what is the responsibility of Goggle Adwords PPC planners to the users. A PPC campaign would also vastly increase the chances of having your site included on custom built slashtags.

Social

Slashtags can increase the relevance of Twitter hashtags. If rankings were to be attached to twitter users, then this could create a rich filtered news platform for breaking stories. As there are user defined slash tags, and slashtags defined by Blekko, there is a lot of scope for trending and analysis. Twitter users could be encouraged to become authorities on slash tag topics. A collaboration of the two would provide a very on topic experience for searchers.

For example, if a user frequently tags relevant posts #NFL, and regularly gains traction on these tweets via retweets, the user should be considered high ranking. Thus, high ranking users should rank highest in slashtag searches.

Finally

If this is the first you have heard of Blekko, here’ a short history.
Blekko is a search company that was founded in 2007 by Rich Skrenta. Rich Skentra is a long time programmer, and established figure in the Silicon Valley. Skentra most notably was one of the founders of the Open Directory Project, more commonly known as Dmoz. Blekko has been backed by a host of investment firms, and most recently by World Wide Web Hall of Famer Marc Andreessen. Seriously Marc Andreessen is one of only 6 members of the WWW Hall of Fame. He is the co-founder of Ning, currently holds a seat on the Facebook board of Directors, and his list of achievements in Web Development are endless.

Summary

Blekko is considered by many as a potential “Google Killer”. The emergence of a “Google Killer” is about as unlikely as pigs flying. However, with search constantly evolving Blekko will get a chance to compete. Blekko offers a host of interesting and exciting opportunities for both users and advertising. Blekko is far from the finished product, but the future looks bright.

This 3 part series is going to cover three exciting new opportunities in SEM and SEO, and what may lie ahead…
1. Blekko
2. Real Time search
3. The Applified Internet

Mick Higgins

A marketing graduate with itchy feet, I moved to Canada from my native Ireland in late 2009. My passions are marketing, media, advertising and sports.

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