It amazes me how many people embrace the “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mentality, especially because what they’re talking about is frequently imperfect and in need of some fixing. Or they’re just too stubborn to try something different. I used to be that way with Internet Explorer. It was a horrible thing, but I continued to use it because it’s all I’d ever used and I had faith in its consistent horribleness. Then somebody suggested I try Firefox, which I did and only because I liked the name. It reminded me of the Clint Eastwood movie my father had taken me to see many years back. No, it’s not the best reason to try something different, but I did it and that’s the point, right?
Now, when it comes to search engines, I was never particular until introduced to Google and the only reason I tried it was because the name sounded atrociously funny to me. Just look what it’s turned into! But, I suspect, like all good things, there will always be that next thing waiting in the darkened wings to emerge and attempt to gain some dominance. Enter Blekko.
First of all, Blekko? Google, now Blekko? If someone’s going to invest $24 million dollars into creating an alternative search engine, maybe they could throw a few bucks at a couple of people to come up with a name that’s easier on the tongue and ears. Geico, Blekko, Gecko… Do you see where this can go?
The name aside, the big attraction to using the Blekko engine is that it’s designed to weed out spam search results. Why in the world didn’t we have something like this before now? Personally, I HATE doing searches on something with a number of results that send me to non-related sites, adult sites and other black hole pages I can’t escape from. I’d like to assume that others find this just as annoying, but, you know, “if it’s not broken, why fix it,” right? Because it was broken to begin with! Blekko is just plugging that lovely little hole.
The other interesting bit about Blekko’s search engine is that it uses slashtags. For instance, if you wanted to catch up on all the latest Trademark Productions blogs, you would go to Blekko.com and type in “tmprod/blog” and watch the results come up! I hear that Mad Copywriter guy can be kinda entertaining, so be sure to look for him. Is everybody comfortable entering searches in this way? No, mostly not, so this will only appeal to a small group in the beginning. However, if Blekko catches on, especially with it limiting spam results, it may just be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
This is definitely a search engine to watch since it’s still being developed, still being added to and smoothed out. It’s also ripe for feedback because, unlike existing search engines that have become somewhat complacent about what the average user is looking for as opposed to how much money they can make on ads, the creators of Blekko want you to use them.