Blekko is a ‘vertical search engine’, meaning that it allows you to search within a specific segment of online content, such as legal, political, media and travel. In contrast, Google is considered a ‘horizontal search engine’. The major difference between the two is that a horizontal or general search engine will index large portions of the web using their various trawlers, whereas vertical search engines only index pages that are seen as relevant to a pre-defined set of topics.
Blekko allows a user to conduct a vertical search by introducing ‘slashtags’. There is currently 20 built-in slashtags, and 10 slashtag shortcuts. If a slashtag hasn’t been created for an area that you’re interested in – you can simply make your own. Examples of slashtags from the Blekko site include:
• /people – will limit results to pages associated with a person
• /date – will list search results by most recent
• /blogs – will limit search results to just blog sites
• /noporn – will remove any results from adult website.
Many in the online world are welcoming an extra ‘player’ in the search market that has long been dominated by two major players – Google and Bing/Yahoo. However Blekko is in no way positioning itself as major competition for these two giants. Instead, it is offering a unique feature that may draw users in when they’re wanting to see skewed or filtered search results.
Check it out for yourself at http://blekko.com and be sure to comment on this post to let us know what you think!