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New Search Engine Blekko Launches Beta

After two and half years of work and raising nearly $20 million, the new search engine Blekko is available today in private beta. While Blekko boasts to be a complete web search engine, with crawls of billions of web pages, the new start-up knows they can't beat Google. And they don't want to.

"So let's just get this out of the way: there is no such thing as a Google killer. No company is going to play David to their Goliath and slay them with a well-aimed stone from a slingshot. Google is here to stay," Rich Skrenta, co-founder and CEO of Blekko, wrote in a company blog post.

"So why join a search start-up then? Because I don't believe to be successful in this business you need to be a Google-killer. In fact, trying to be a Google-killer is probably the one sure way not to succeed," Skrenta said.

Instead of competing with Google, Blekko allows users to conduct a new type of search they cannot do anywhere else. The main difference between Blekko and other search engines is the search syntax the start-up calls slashtags. By using specific tags to refine queries, users can quickly filter search results to the specific sites they want. They can also change the way results are sorted.

Another feature that sets Blekko apart from other search engines is its open crawl and rank data policy. As the first principle in Blekko's Web Search Bill of Rights, the new search engine promises that search shall be open. The third principle states that ranking data shall not be kept secret. In accordance with these and other open-policy principles, Blekko offers a suite of tools which help users understand what factors are driving Blekko's rankings as well as allows users to view any url's web search footprint.

According to Skrenta, Blekko was created from scratch and features "a multi-billion page index, a prioritized crawl, and new ranking and anti-spam technology."

-Melanie Saxe


Jul 29, 2010