blekko has (finally!) entered private beta...TechCrunch has the details on a preview of our new search engine.
Am I insane for trying to build a new search engine from scratch? Maybe... but blekko is pretty cool anyway. :-)
blekko is introducing a novel search syntax we call slashtags. Using simple tags to refine your queries (e.g. /date, /demblogs, /people, /health, /satire, etc.), you can quickly filter search results to just the sites you want, change the way results are sorted, and more.
We have hundreds of slashtags you can get started with on blekko, plus we have a toolbox to let you make and share your own.
Furthermore, we intend to be fully open about our crawl and rank data for the web. We don't believe security through obscurity is the best way to drive search ranking quality forward. So we have a set of tools on blekko.com which let you understand what factors are driving our rankings, and let you dive behind any url or site to see what their web search footprint looks like.
So what took so long? It turns out that it's really friggin hard to build a search engine from scratch. Especially a good one. We've built our system from the ground up, with a multi-billion page index, a prioritized crawl, and new ranking and anti-spam technology. We also have a ton of classifiers firing on every url we crawl, many of which are powering built-in slashtags.
Drop me a note if you'd like to get on the list for our private beta. It really is a beta, we still have some bugs to shake out before opening the site completely. But we could use your help to shake out the system before our launch.
I'll leave you with blekko's founding principles. We call them the Web Search Bill of Rights:
Here is my co-founder Mike's take on why blekko is cool.