Blekko’s Traffic Is Up Almost 400 Percent; Here Are The CEO’s Five Reasons Why

blekko-man-logoBy the end of April, traffic to Blekko will likely have quadrupled since January 1st, and the company has a handful of reasons why it thinks that’s happening. More on the explanation later; first, the numbers.

The “slashtags” search engine has already seen a 337 percent gain in unique visitors this year. That’s as of yesterday (Monday) afternoon, and there are still two weeks left in the month.

Blekko shared the chart below from its internal analytics, showing a gain in unique IPs visiting the site from 1.58 million in December to 5.33 million so far in April.

blekko-unique-ips

Blekko saw visits from 3.71 million unique IPs in March, the most recent full-month count that’s available. That’s a 645 percent spike compared to March 2011.

On the Blekko blog yesterday, CEO Rich Skrenta posted traffic charts from Experian Hitwise and Compete, both of which also show dramatic traffic increases in recent weeks (Hitwise) and months (Compete).

For the sake of completeness, we asked comScore if it’s also seeing the same trend for Blekko. Although the numbers are different, the trend is pretty much exactly the same — a dramatic rise in traffic beginning in January, 2012. (ComScore’s unique visitor count for March is a little less than half of the unique IP count on Blekko’s internal chart above, but comScore is counting U.S.-only visits.)

blekko-comscore

According to comScore’s numbers, Blekko is now getting about triple the traffic of fellow underdog search engine DuckDuckGo, which has also seen big gains of its own in user activity.

Why Is Blekko Growing So Quickly?

Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta tells us via email that he thinks there are a handful of reasons for Blekko’s traffic spike this year:

  1. Improved index quality. Days before Christmas, Blekko announced a “major upgrade” that included a bigger index that improved its long-tail search results.
  2. Dissatisfaction with Google.
  3. Distribution partnerships. Skrenta is referring things like Blekko’s recent deal with security software maker Lavasoft.
  4. Trade show and convention appearances. Blekko has been visible at numerous recent events, from shows like SXSW, Blogworld Expo and our own SMX West conference to many librarian-focused events like the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting and the Internet Librarian Conference.
  5. The demise of Yahoo Site Explorer. Since Yahoo Site Explorer closed last November, Skrenta says SEOs have been “all over” Blekko’s SEO tools and data.

Google continues to have a near death-grip on search engine market share in the U.S., but the growth that Blekko — and DuckDuckGo, too — is seeing in recent months means that at least some searchers like to keep their options open. (And, much like the rumors of a Facebook search engine, the growth of Blekko and other search engines is also a Good Thing for Google as it deals with antitrust/monopoly concerns.)

Related Topics: Blekko | Channel: Strategy | Features: Analysis | Stats: comScore | Stats: Popularity | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://twitter.com/lycos Lycos

    We’re seeing our traffic improving here at Lycos.com as well. I think #2 on Rich’s list above is partly due to the increase in addition to our new design which improved the user experience across devices.

  • Nancy Wigal

    Yes, I do like Blekko’s SEO tools – especially for a fast and dirty analysis on the spot. :)

    Do you think slashtags will drive some SEO techniques and processes in the future?

  • Hui Yu

    Compare search result of “yoba linda rite aid toys”, can you tell Blekko search results are copied from Bing? If Bing prevent Blekko from copying search results, what will happen to Blekko search quality? 

    http://blekko.com/ws/yoba+linda+rite+aid+toys

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=yoba+linda+rite+aid+toys+&go=&qs=n&form=QBLH&pq=yoba+linda+rite+aid+toys+&sc=0-0&sp=-1&sk=

  • http://www.igorware.com/ Igor

     I wish their crawler visited more often.
    “last visited: 185d ago”

  • http://homelessonwheels.com/ Mike | Homeless OnWheels
  • http://www.blogging24h.com/546/how-to-start-a-blog/ How to start a Blog

    Dissatisfaction with Google? I’ve never tried this way.

  • http://www.caseycamilleri.com/ Casey Camilleri

    That’s amazing growth.  I used Blekko a few months ago but I didn’t see that kind of growth happening for them.

  • jacky you

    We are wholesale baseball hats online
    store,For a long time,we provide discount snapback hats on sale and url=http://www.hatsshoponline.com/]wholesale baseball hats[/url],and so popular.

  • http://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/ Brian Kelly

    The traffic may be increasing, but it doesn’t register in  comparison with Google usage.

    This seems to be based on a  Blekko press release. If you’re not a fan of Google, the real story isn’t the challenge posed by Blekko by the patent disputes and by Facebook, both of which have been featured in the media in the UK in the past few days as I’ve described at: 
    http://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/is-blekkos-traffic-really-going-through-the-roof-will-it-challenge-google/ 

  • http://jeffdownerbailbonds.com/ Jeff Downer Indianapolis IN

    I’m not surprised,  I find the slash mark commands quite useful.

  • http://twitter.com/WolfHook Paul

    Not copying, using them. I believe that Yahoo BOSS is/was open to third parties which in turn was bought out by Microsoft in that whole take over deal. You can sign-up for a developers account and use Bing’s results via an API, which is pretty much what Yahoo BOSS was.

    http://www.quora.com/Is-Blekko-indexing-content-on-their-own-or-using-some-other-search-engine

    You see that Blekko uses Bing/Yahoo’s results as a back-up which explains your test query.

    DuckDuckGo is also built on Bing/Yahoo’s results.

  • http://www.moviein3d.net Caitlin

    I am using DuckDuckGo just because of their outstanding privacy policy, Google has a lot to learn regarding privacy and Blekko to my understanding is about the same in that regard, no thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/glindahl Greg Lindahl

    Caitlin, blekko’s privacy policy is much better than Google’s. Check out  http://searchengineland.com/blekko-will-keep-user-data-48-hours-76871/ — and if you’d like the highest level of privacy, click on your prefs at blekko and click the SuperPrivacy box.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1435456369 Hans Braumüller

    I love Blekko, because of their SEO Tools

  • http://www.herbisto.com/ Herbisto

    You know I never used Blekko, and have been using DuckDuckGo in the past few months. Thanks to this article, I’ve actually found some of the really cool tools available for SEO in Blekko. They have done a great job at integrating both regular users, and webmasters.

  • http://www.biggerpockets.com Joshua Dorkin

    We should all take lessons from CEO Skrenta about capitalizing on good timing and opportunity to grow our brands. This is a great reminder to always be seeking out opportunities for growth in and around your niche.

  • Yuko Zhang
  • Yuko Zhang
  • Greg Gramm

    Rock on Blekko. Rock on! Google’s pushed the big red PAUSE button for me with their latest “quality update”. Man, finding all kinds of empty pages or pages with one or two words or a couple of sentences. It’s like some short-traders paid Google to dig their own grave.

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