Blekko’s search engine scours three billion Web pages that it considers worthwhile, but it shows only the top results on any given topic. It calls its edited lists of Web sites slashtags. The engine also tries to weed out Web pages created by so-called content farms like Demand Media that determine popular Web search topics and then hire people at low pay to write articles on those topics for sites like eHow.com.
It is also drawing on a fruitful category of Web search — vertical search engines that offer results on specific topics. Many companies assume that Google won the contest to search the entire Web, so they have focused on topical search. Bing from Microsoft has search pages dedicated to travel and entertainment, and Yelp is a popular choice for searching local businesses.
People who search for a topic in one of seven categories that Blekko considers to be polluted with spamlike search results — health, recipes, autos, hotels, song lyrics, personal finance and colleges — automatically see edited results.
As Google has transitioned to an advertising company from a search company, their search results leaves lots to be desired — especially now that everyone knows how to game the results. I don’t know if Blekko will be better, but it’s certainly worth a look. The human, wikipedia-style component is intriguing.