The “Slash-the-web” engine is trying to gain ground on its bigger rivals, Google and Bing. The mark of thirty million queries was passed in January – a decent accomplishment for Blekko, launched in November 2010. Additionally, over 100K new slashtags were created by users and editors. If you are not familiar with this term, I would definitely recommend visiting Blekko.com and checking out their concept of bringing the most relevant results for the specific user.
Fighting Spam is the trend of today, and Blekko’s “spam clock”, introduced about a month ago, was another trigger for this trend. Next they announced removing several “low quality” websites from the search results (including the quite popular eHow and Expert-Exchange) before ten days, stating that this “black list” will grow.
Other recent Blekko activity included launching an iPhone and Android app, pretty similar to the desktop version and offering almost all of its features, and integrating Facebook “Likes” into its results. A partnership with DuckDuckGo can be another step to counter Google, combating it out of the “spam” field. Of course, there is a long, long way to go, but for now the key is probably staying in the news and adding new features.
Fighting SPAM is everyone’s concern these days. E-mail providers try to create advanced Spam-filters that send offensive and disturbing emails out of your Inbox to a “Spam” folder (and, of course, sometimes valuable, long-expected messages from certain contacts end up there as well). Search engines are struggling hard creating sophisticated algorithms in order to present the most “relevant” results to the user – their success is somewhat moderate, I would say.
There is, however, another option. Grant USER the ability to “mark” certain domains as “unwanted” and “untrustworthy” aka spam. According to Google’s Matt Cutts, the search industry market leader spam fighting team “has definitely discussed this” and the option has a chance of appearing in Google search tools. Of course, Cutts was very clear about “not pre-announcing things before they lunch”, but the hint is there.
Based on the experience and data of the now-extinct SearchWiki, the feature of “user blacklisting” can be quite useful and successful. The intention is, reportedly, to provide the user with the ability to mark domains and create blacklists for any given keyword. This data, associated with user’s Google profile can be stored on Google servers, making it an effective tool for fighting spam or other unwanted content, which is regarded as irrelevant by a specific searcher.
Several polls, conducted recently, approve that the search engines are still regarded reliable by the internet users, yet the influence of “spammers” worries many searches.
Over 33 percent of the responders to the question: “Have Google’s Search Results Become Less Useful To You?”, said that the spammers “have gained a significant foothold”. Over 40 percent responded with the “kind of” statement, making a total of over 75% percent noticing the negative influence of “noise” on Google Search. With less than 4% stating that results got better, it seems that the spam issue needs to worry Google algorithmists.
Nevertheless, almost 90% still find Search Engines (and most use Google, of course) do either “excellent” or “good” job of finding relevant information, and about two-thirds of users rate Google results as “useful”.
With other search engines trying to close the gap between the runaway leader in the Search Industry, they might well switch their attention to inventing better search algorithms. Yet, there is no guarantee that those will produce less “noisy” results. And even if they do, and Google will lose a considerable amount of market percentage – the spammers will probably quickly adjust their techniques to alter these “new-search-algorithm” results as well…