Blekko – is it a Google Killer?

Nov. 29, 2010 | by James Taylor

What is it?

Blekko is a new Search Engine. Some have touted it as a “Google Killer” while others have not. Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta has gone on record to say Blekko isn’t trying to be a Gogle Killer, but if it isn’t a Google Killer, what is it?

What does it do?

It would probably be unwise to launch a search engine without trying to differentiate yourself in some way and Blekko have realised this. The main feature they’re promoting is the “slashtag”. Users can create slashtags which basically limits the search results to a selection of domains. Blekko also provides a number of ready-made slashtags for use. For example, a search for ‘iPad’ can be limited to just technology sites if you add the ‘/tech’ slashtag. Furthermore, slashtags can be refined further by combining them. A search for ‘iPad /tech /blogs’ does exactly what you’d expect and limits results to technology blogs.

SEO Slashtag

Once you use Blekko for a while, you get the feeling that it’s intended audience is more advanced web users, such as web site owners, developers and SEOs. This is backed up by the inclusion of the SEO slashtag. Entering a domain into the search box with the ‘/seo’ slashtag will provide a bewildering array of graphs and stats about the domain in question.

Blekko SEO Stats

The top level stats that Blekko provides are inbound links, site pages and ‘Host Rank’. Host Rank is not really explained anywhere, but we can probably assume it’s a measure of a domains authority, similar to Google’s PageRank. Within the results are a number of tabs containing more detailed data for:

  • Inbound Links (inbound links sorted by Host Rank)
  • Crawl Stats (shows crawl data such as time of last crawl, pages crawled etc.)
  • Site Pages (lists a site’s pages by Host Rank)
  • Compare (allows you to visually compare stats for 4 domains)
  • Duplicate Content (sites that may be republishing content from the site)

Statistics are available for the domain or for a specific URL. There’s a great deal of data available from within the SEO slashtag, too much to go in to detail here. I would advise trying it for a few sites and digging around yourself.

Link Tools

Another of Blekko’s distinguishing features is the set of links provided under each of the search results:

These links can be changed by clicking ‘prefs’ in the top right corner of the page, allowing you to just see your most used ones. The links available are:

  • Tag (add the site to a slashtag)
  • Cache (see Blekko’s cache of the page)
  • Rss (RSS feed for the page, if available)
  • Adsense (will list other sites using the same Adsense id, if the site uses Adsense)
  • Seo (see above)
  • Source (returns the source code for the page)
  • Dup (shows detailed duplicated content stats)
  • Spam (mark the URL as spam)
  • Links (shows backlinks for the URL)
  • Ip (lists domains hosted on the same IP address)
  • Site (limits the results to this domain)
  • Similar (find similar sites)

How can it be used?

The data provided by the SEO slashtag is great for comparing a sites performance against a number of competitors. The ability to get a list of inbound links to a URL (including anchor text) is useful, but without being able export the data this is of limited use, in my opinion. Open Site Explorer essentially does this too, but allows you to export the links to Excel for further analysis. Until Blekko offers this feature, I see no reason to use it over OSE.

The duplicate content section could potentially be useful for highlighting duplicate content on a site, or to identify content being scraped and republished on other sites.

The ability to find sites using the same Adsense ID is interesting, and may be useful for identifying sites when link building. Having said that, there’s a good chance that sites sharing an Adsense ID also share an IP, which may limit its usefulness for this purpose.

Overall, Blekko is an interesting addition to the Search Engine field, and I would recommend trying it for a while just to see if you find any of the features useful. I don’t think Google will be losing much sleep over Blekko, but they are clearly going after a niche and if you’re reading this there’s a good chance you’re part of that niche. Why not try it and let us know what you think?

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    Comments (2)

    • Craig Hanna

      Does anyone know how they are deciding on rankings. A few admittedly random tests seemed to through up some very different and some very unusual results.Jan 7, 2011 10:02 pm

    • Rahul Batra

      Blekko might have done some great work but again no one can beat Google yet. Google is far much better than Blekko.Dec 1, 2010 01:57 pm

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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