Have you heard about blekko yet? I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t. It just launched a few days ago. Most people outside of the tech space probably wont know about blekko for a very long time, if ever. However, for those of us who spend a substantial amount of our business life online, blekko is worth taking a look at.
blekko, often referred to as the slashtag search engine, is the newest contender to come into the highly competitive search space. It’s a full-fledged search engine with it’s own search index. What blekko has done to try and set itself apart from the other search engines is introduce /slashtags. Slashtags make it easy for anyone to create a vertical search engine around any topic. One of the neatest features of slashtags is customizing your searches to only show you results from a particular viewpoint. For instance, to see websites from a liberal point of view you would use the built-in /liberal slashtag. But, since there are plenty of other posts from around the web discussing that, I’ll dive right into what I’m interested most which is their webmaster and SEO tools.
Using blekko’s webmaster tools is a snap. You don’t even have to be logged in. Simply do a normal search around any topic or website you like and links to the available tools will appear right below the title of each listing.
By default only a few result links appear, but you can easily change your preferences to show the links you’re most interested in. My example above shows all available result links; tag, seo, dup, rss, links, cache, source, ip, site, similar, chatter and spam. I did find a bug, however. Whenever I changed my logged-in preferences it would reset to default after I deleted my cookies.
Let’s take a look at the seo data by clicking on the “seo” link or by typing “http://www.seorankings.com/ /seo” in the search box.
That pulls up some stats on the page including a description which is actually your title tag. Domain / URL Host Rank, Inbound Links and Site Pages which can all be expanded. There are also a couple of link location pie graphs which I find somewhat useless. And, a number of other tabs and hyperlinks pointing to additional data too.
All in all there is a lot of free data provided here which you can use in addition to other tools you are already using. Like most of the tools available the data provided is only a small sample of what is really going on on the web. I’ve read some reports claiming blekko has an index of around 3 billion documents, whereas Google and Bing are reported to have 10+ billion pages in their indices. So you definitely don’t want to rely on this data alone to make assumptions about why a particular website is ranking the way it is in any of the other major search engines.
One of the most disappointing things I found was even with all of the great link data provided, they failed to tell you which links were dofollow and nofollow back links. I know it’s supposed to be a search engine first, but considering everything that has been provided it seems like a waste because analyzing link data isn’t very helpful when those details aren’t readily available. Hopefully they’ll consider adding that information in the near future. Update: Rich left me a comment below letting me know the nofollow data is actually available now, but a little hard to find. See http://blekko.com/ws/http:%2F%2Fwww.seorankings.com%2F+/urlseo#inbound_tab.
Another miss was that Google faired better for most of the searches I performed. Especially last night when I was looking for the latest Washington state senate results. I couldn’t find anything immediately helpful in blekko, whereas Google showed me the latest results right within the SERP as well as several other up-to-the-minute listings. In blekko’s defense, Google has been at this game for several years now.
Either way, blekko provides some of the best free SEO data available for analyzing the competition, which makes it worth taking a look at. And it also shows some potential as a search engine.