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Many people don’t know Blekko yet but already feel the influence of the search engine start up that offers customizable search results for advanced users. Blekko is actually the driving force behind much of innovation in the search industry right now.

Blekko bragged to be spam-free by removing so called content farms that were flooding Google

with low quality pay by the dozen content created solely for the purpose of getting search traffic. While Google claimed to have worked on their “high quality” or “Panda” update for a year it was Blekko that forced them to catch up on the content farm issue.

While many people who do not understand search mistake SEO for spam Blekko has made a point of embracing the SEO industry from the start.

Not only are all ranking factors visible to those who want to see them, they’re just a click away, the tools Blekko uses offer much more data every webmaster and SEO can use. Indeed the Blekko tools are among the best free SEO tools out there. Now that Yahoo! plans to discontinue SIte Explorer, the perhaps most widely used SEO tool out there Blekko has a unique selling proposition.

To find out how a search engine performs I always test the [seo] query as obviously here a lot of people try to influence their rankings to get found on top. Most search engines fail in some way. Either they show sites that have been artificially pushed to the top or they show irrelevant sites. The top Google results for [seo] only make sense to first time searchers if at all:

Searching from New York you’ll find the Wikipedia definition of SEO on top

  • at #2, the “Sponsors for Educational Opportunity”
  • at #3, Google’s own SEO definition (for those who don’t like Wikipedia I guess)
  • at #4 , SEO.com – the first relevant result for most users
  • at #5,  a “Seo Japanese Restaurant” from local results obviously
  • at #6, #7 and #8 I get three local SEO companies from New York.
  • At #9 follows SEO Book by Aaron Wall the perhaps most outspoken SEO blogger these days and
  • at #10 finally SEOMoz, the most important SEO resource these days but not the main site or the blog, instead the by now quite dated web developer’s cheat sheet from 2008.
  • Below follow news results about some South Korean tennis player: “Ryu downs Seo in US Women’s Open playoff”.

Some people might argue that SEOs are like plumbers and that you want one from nearby but I’m not sure about that. Now let’s switch to Blekko and take a look at the new results for [seo].

Blekko has already polished its user interface and features after a few months of open Beta.

It’s now in “Beta 2” and not only looks better but also enhances search results with its slashtag custom search engines by default. When you search for [seo] you get automatically search results added from the slashtags /seoblogs and /seosites.

You may already know that I contribute to the official /seoblogs slashtag by Blekko along John CarcuttDean Cruddace and others.  I’m quite proud to be part of this curation effort. Finally I am an search engine optimizer in the most literal sense. The slashtag editors select the sites the Blekko bots search on. Also the manual selection is an important ranking factor.

Looking at the top 10 for [seo] on Blekko I’m quite satisfied with the results for probably the first time in my life:

Just one of the top twenty results for [seo] doesn’t make me happy. It’s a site offering SEO services like “monthly search engine submission” and they show up there partly because they have a blog I added to /seoblogs. The blog was OK so I added it but now I’m not sure anymore.

Aside of that the results are very relevant, you get sites from all over the world (US, UK , Australia), tools, blogs, companies, resources and even sites focusing local and video SEO in the top 20.

So not only does Blekko embrace the SEO community by offering them tools it’s able to use our input to optimize even the most difficult search results, like those for SEO itself. Kudos! Now Blekko beats Google for results where bots are not enough.

Btw. Blekko also displays Facebook likes of myself and my friends by without this layer personalization the ranking stays the same.

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