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The search for relevance seems never-ending.  Google is undeniably the search king and Bing might be considered a prince, but few others even register on the search engine map.  Now there’s Blekko, yet another attempt by a fledgling search engine to get into the market.

Unlike the others, though, Blekko might actually get somewhere.  Why?  Because it’s unique and relevant – two things most other search startups can’t really claim, though many try.

First of all, Blekko is crowd sourced.  So searches are refined by other people using the system, in the same way Wikipedia is written and edited by others.  As the Blekko founder’s blog says:

Not everyone has to participate for the model to work – most people don’t edit Wikipedia, yet we have a vast encyclopedia which long ago dwarfed the closed Britannica.

But a small fraction of the web audience that does get involved can help make the search experience better for everyone else.

That makes the blog unique.  The blog is relevant because it specializes in what are called “vertical” searches.  These are category-based searches that are narrowed (refined) by the category they fall into.  On Google, when you search for a topic and then click the News link, you’re narrowing the search into a vertical space based on the News category.  Blekko lets you do that, but with anything as a category.

So a search for “Time Zone in California /encyclopedia” would give you results for the phrase “Time Zone in California” in the vertical zone (category) “encyclopedia.”

This has the potential to give excellent results.

Blekko has been in closed beta for some time and has only now gone live to the public.  It’s worth a try and may become something you add to your search arsenal.

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