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If blekko sees its shadow, 6 more weeks of beta

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:

  1. Search shall be open
  2. Search results shall involve people
  3. Ranking data shall not be kept secret
  4. Web data shall be readily available
  5. There is no one-size-fits-all for search
  6. Advanced search shall be accessible
  7. Search engine tools shall be open to all
  8. Search & community go hand-in-hand
  9. Spam does not belong in search results
  10. Privacy of searchers shall not be violated

Here is my co-founder Mike's take on why blekko is cool.

Comments (42)

I'd love to have an invite, Rich.

Max

Josh:

Sounds really interesting, and some nice idea's you got there. Best of luck!

- an invite would be great too :)

J

Sounds really interesting, add me to the beta list please.

Tom:

yep, an invite to blekko would be kickass. thanks!

Congratulations. It's been a long time coming.

As for an invite...yes, please.

I'd love to test drive blekko.

Hi Rich, I've been waiting for this day for years! Would love an invite to try and test at early doors.

Good luck with the launch,
Anphicle

Hey Rich,

Congrats! The Skrentablog has been quiet for awhile...too quiet. Nice to see it paying off.

I too would love to check it out in beta.

-Matthew

Saravana:

Congrats Rich. An invite would be nice :)

Chris:

Looks interesting... I'd love to see the beta.

Hi, Rich, congrats on the private launch! I'd love an invite, thanks!

Ganesh:

Congrats and Wishing you the very best.
I would like an invite too.
Thanks.

Hey Rich,

Am really looking forward to seeing it. Please put me on the invite list. Thanks!

aaron wall:

I would love an invite :)

manu:

I would like to have an invite to the private beta.......best wishes for team blekko......

Hello Rich,

Congrats on approaching Beta launch! Like your strategy of making the search/ranking criteria open.

I always felt that the notion of secrecy to prevent misuse, of search engine rankings, was flawed. The state of SEO is nearly as bad as that of 'keyword stuffing' in the late 90s - just that it doesn't appear so bad, because of results being just 'relevant enough'.

Wish you folks all the very best. We really need some meaningful competition in search!

Sounds very interesting! Do you have an invite for me?

arib:

Sounds cool! Can I get an invite?

Congrats on the beta. Would love an invite, thanks!

Awesome news, would really love to be involved with the beta

I would love an invite. The idea of openness is very appealling.

Best of luck, (and work hard)

Cheers.

Jan:

An invite would be really cool, thanks!

JC:

This sounds great, I would love an invite!

David Chai:

You have my full support, your slashtag function looks extremely enticing for someone who searches on the web as much as I do. Please do include me on your beta testing list, I would love to provide feedback and input.

David Chai:

You have my full support, your slashtag function looks extremely enticing for someone who searches on the web as much as I do. Please do include me on your beta testing list, I would love to provide feedback and input.

David Chai

Fredrik:

I'd love an invite :=

Andrew:

Good news, I'd love an invite, thanks.

Having glimpsed behind the velvet curtain on TechCrunch I'd be absolutely delighted to get an invite. Pretty please?

I'm interested to see the results, I'd like to be on the invite list too :)

Nancy Calafati:

I'd like to be in the beta!

David Pendray:

Sounds very cool: would love an invite :)

Would be great to get an invite!

Joris van Hoboken

Been begging for on invite since I was follower ~300 on twitter.

Please please please set me up! :)

Simon Jacques:

I'd live an invite thanks Rick.

Great project - I strongly support the open approach to crawl and rank data - this is the future of search.

If you can add to that a search engine team that is approachable for people with issues, that blogs regularly and responds publicly to queries, then this could be a paradigm shift in the search industry. A paradigm that is much more in line with online policies in other industries.

The era of big powerful businesses hiding behind their websites is over. The era of engagement and user power is dawning. User experience is everything.

kerick:

Very interesting. I would like to take part in the tests. As a citizen from a Portuguese speaking country (Brazil), I'd like to know if blekko will support other idioms beyond english. Thanks!

Thank you for the invite. I'm really enjoying using Blekko.

I would also love to get an invite to see what's behind Blekko and am much looking forward to it

Eric Garrison:

Hello,

Very exciting to see a new search product! Would love to get an invite as well

thanks!

Niel:

Blekko seems to be promising. I wants to look it from inside.

Thx in advance

Would love an invite if possible?

Hey Rich,

Congrats! The Skrentablog has been quiet for a bit. Nice to see it paying off.

I too would love to check it out in beta.

-Simon

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