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Blekko Search Engine Slashes Through the Web
Written by Daniel   
Monday, 01 November 2010 18:01

From PC World

Do you need to create your own search engine that provides results about a specific topic, also known as vertical search? A new company called Blekko aims to help you do just that by drilling down into Web content using what the company calls "slashtags" -- subject-specific search terms that you put at the end of your searches preceded by a slash "/".

The new search engine launched a public beta on Monday, and is now open for anyone to try. Blekko may not be a strong contender to take out search leaders Google and Bing anytime soon, but Blekko certainly takes an interesting approach that's worth a try if you're looking to customize your daily Web searches.

Blekko's core approach is to use subject-specific search terms called slashtags that help you narBlekko's home page (click to enlarge)row down your search results. Say you were looking for reviews about Apple's iPad. You would type into Blekko "iPad /reviews" and your search results would list mostly reviews of the iPad from various magazines and tech blogs. If you typed in "Obama /news" you would end up with a list of news results about the President. By default, the "/news" slashtag is organized by most recent news items, but you can easily click on the "/relevance" slashtag at the top of the results page to have your news results about Obama organized by relevance instead.

Blekko has a variety of predefined slashtags you can use such as "/people" for a people search, "/blogs" for blog search, "/flickr" for Flickr search and so on. There are also a variety of topic slashtags such as "/basketball," "/movie-reviews" and "/android" to name a few. Finally, there are also a few slashtags called "api" slashtags listed on the left side of the results page that use search engines from other sites. You can search Amazon products on Blekko, for example, by using the slashtag "/shopping" or YouTube with "/video."


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