A search engine which relies on users to kill off useless spam sites has been released.
Blekko aims to tackle that problem on the main stream sites which prevent you getting real information. If you type in things like weight loss you end up getting shown shedloads of bogus advertising sites.
Blekko gets around that by keeping lists of categorised sites that can be applied to queries.
The engine gives you options to automatically or manually be restricted to just sites that are actual, bona fide sources.
Blekko has seven main categories which are health, automotive, lyrics, colleges, personal finance, recipes, and hotels, and users can also create their own.
If you tap in “cure for toothache,” for example, Blekko gives you a good set of results from WebMD, the NIH, etc. It suggests questions which are a little more focused to its database.
You can also tilt your search results in the direction you like by using a category of bias, like “liberal” or “conservative” to give you politically slanted results. Why any one would want information slanted is anyone’s guess, but there are people who buy the Daily Mail so there much be a call for it.
How it works is by creating a “slashtag” to the query. So if you tap in “dinosaurs /conservative” will will get references to how the fossils were put there to test our faith and there is no proof that the world is older than 4,000 years.
Users can also create their own slashtags, and other users can contribute to those lists.
However, spam has its place in the Blekko universe. If a result returns a lot of hits from known automatic linkfarms or spam sites, the Blekko engine uses this data as an indicator of the importance of the query and aggressively filters out the less-than-useful returns.
If you don’t do these things you get the same material as a Google search. We tapped in Mike Magee and got something about an L.A. Galaxy player and there was “no news” about him.
Blekko hopes to be the Number Three search engine and thinks it can make cash on a million to two million queries a day. The site’s not running any monetisation schemes or advertising at the moment.