Blekko’s Izik Search App Comes To iPhone, Android Devices

izik This morning, Blekko announced that its tablet search app, izik, is now available for the iPhone and Android devices. Currently there isn't a Blekko mobile app, but the mobile Web version of the site is optimized for smartphones. Izik for iPad became available in January. Blekko has moved closer to izik in terms of look and feel after a recent major redesign. However, there are still differences between the mobile Web version of blekko and the new izik smartphone app. In particular, the new izik iPhone and Android apps offer a "what's nearby" local search feature, which allows users to [...]

Blekko Lays Off Eight, Raises $6 Million More

Blekko logo Earlier this week blekko, which just introduced a bold new UI, had a reduction in force. Eight people were let go "as part of an effort to reduce costs," said CEO Rich Skrenta, who added, "blekko's revenues are growing and these cost reductions will help us as we work toward profitability." Skrenta told me by email that the company had also closed an additional $6 million round. That brings the company's total funding to nearly $60 million to date. Asked about metrics, Skrenta told me that blekko is now doing 5 million searches daily on and blekko-powered sites. He said th [...]

Seeking Broader Appeal Blekko Offers Bold New UI

blekko-2-featured In January, upstart search engine Blekko launched a specialized tablet app called Izik. The UI and overall experience were optimized for the touch-screen devices. Search results were more visual and finger friendly. Most of all, CEO Rich Skrenta stressed that Izik was leaving behind the familiar "10 blue links." As part of the Izik launch, Blekko built an API. Now that API, together with Blekko's corpus of curated search categories (slashtags), form the infrastructure behind a new Izik-inspired design for the main Blekko site. This morning, Blekko is introducing a bold redesign that puts mo [...]

Google Beats Bing, Yandex & Blekko At Keeping Malware Out Of Search Results [Study]

computer-hacking-malware-feature About three years ago, Google was labeled in one study as the "King of Malware." Things have apparently changed a lot since then. A new study reports that Google is beating its primary search competitors pretty significantly when it comes to keeping malware out of search results. The 18-month study (PDF), done by a German IT security group called AV-TEST, reviewed more than 40 million web pages -- the vast majority (about 38 million) coming from Google, Bing, Yandex and Blekko. The results: About .0025 percent of Google's search results were links to malicious websites. Blekko was [...]

Blekko Launches New Tablet Search Engine “Izik”

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 8.20.36 AM Rich Skrenta and team at blekko are launching "izik," a new tablet search engine (and browser) designed to deliver a "from the ground up," tablet friendly search experience. You can also use it on the PC; however the experience is best on a tablet. It's available as an app for the iPad or Android tablets. There's a mobile web version as well. In my briefing about Izik with blekko's Skrenta and Mike Markson in December they repeatedly made the point that PC search/Google is not well adapted to the limitations and opportunities of the new device. Google has incrementally sought to make [...]

Free No More: Blekko’s SEO Tools Are Now A Paid Product

blekko-2-featured Blekko has changed its previously free SEO tools into a paid service, putting it in competition with the likes of,,, and other SEO data/tool providers. There's been no official announcement of the change, but Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta confirmed to us that the company's SEO tools and data now require a $99 monthly subscription. Users trying to access the SEO data -- either by directly using Blekko's /seo slashtag or by clicking on the "SEO" link that appears beneath each listing on a search results page -- have been surprised to be prompted [...]

With ROCKZi, Blekko Dips Its Toes Into Social Waters (And I Don’t Get It)

rockzi-logo Search engines seem to be inexorably drawn to social platforms. There's Google+ and there was Google Buzz. Yahoo has Flickr and Yahoo Answers, and had Yahoo Buzz and Yahoo Meme (among others). Microsoft/Bing has And now Blekko has a social content platform of its own: ROCKZi, where the tagline is "Read. Vote. Rock." It's a social content curation site where users can find, submit, vote and/or comment on news stories. The content is divided into a current list of 33 categories, from sports to politics to tech and beyond -- and that number will grow to the hundreds within a couple w [...]

Blekko Offers Fresher Index For SEO Purposes

Blekko announced they have made improvements to their crawler and indexer to provide more up to date and fresher results to SEOs looking for SEO related data. Blekko, the Slashtag Search Engine, offers a nice set of free SEO tools. In fact, they pride themselves as being different by offering all these SEO tools for free. So much so, they upgraded their crawler and indexer to provide more up to date information specifically for SEO purposes. a Blekko wrote: When it comes to pages crawled, the sweet spot for blekko is a little more than 4 billion pages. To keep our crawl fresh, we upd [...]

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

blekko-man-logo By 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 saw visits f [...]

Blekko Testing Search Ads

blekko-man-logo MediaPost reports that Blekko, the slashtags search engine, has started testing monetization efforts through search ads. Currently, the ads are provided through ad fees from Google and Bing. Blekko has yet to build out their own ad network. Rich Skrenta, Blekko founder and CEO said, "we're still ironing out the kinks." They are testing out the RPMs, page revenue per 1000 ad units. Skrenta said he expects the CPMs to be worth between $50 and $100 because of the targeted nature of search ads. I have yet to see any signs of ads on the search engine but they are indeed testing it. If [...]

How To Track Emerging Search Engine Blekko In Web Analytics Systems

More than a year has passed since search engine upstart blekko launched, yet Web marketing analysts using digital media measurement tools like Google Analytics won't have seen any traffic attributed to blekko in organic search marketing reports. Instead, traffic supplied by blekko will show up in a referring websites report. It is possible to properly attribute blekko search traffic referrals by implementing advanced Web analytics configuration techniques. Is the extra effort worth the trouble? Certainly investors are betting on blekko. In late September, blekko received an addition $30 [...]

Blekko Expands: Bigger Index, More Slashtags & New Design

blekko-man-logo Blekko is closing out 2011 with a round of updates that affect the search engine's front- and back-end -- both how it looks and how it works. The upstart search engine has announced three changes as part of a "major upgrade" to end the year: 1.) "Significant improvements to index quality and relevance" Blekko has expanded the size of its index, which CEO Rich Skrenta says will help surface relevant results for more long-tail queries than before. "These are searches where there doesn't tend to be a lot of spam, the needle in a haystack kind of queries," he told us via email. "We don't [...]

Russian Search Engine Yandex Leads $30 Million Investment In Blekko

Blekko is the either the fourth US search engine or the third if you no longer consider Yahoo a search engine. And the company has been able to maintain visibility and stir the pot with its persistent criticism of Google search results being spam-filled. Now Blekko has secured $30 million in new funding from a range of earlier investors and new investors. Most notable among the second group is Russian search engine Yandex. The Russian search engine is making a strategic investment in Blekko and Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh will join the blekko board. Yandex operates in its native Russia, Ukr [...]

Oh Good Grep! Web Grepper: A New Web Intelligence Feature From Blekko

blekko-web-grepper-featured Blekko, the search engine that launched last year and is known for its spam reduction efforts, is introducing a new feature today that will help make previously difficult, if not impossible to find (for free), web data accessible to more searchers, marketers, media, and others. Say hello to Web Grepper. More about the name in a moment. What’s a Web Grepper? Web Grepper allows users to run searches on the ENTIRE Blekko index (more than 20 billion URLs according to a recent presentation) to reveal data that you could not search and find using keywords. In other words, you can also sea [...]

Blekko Slashes More Spam With “Zorro” Update

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 6.52.39 AM Blekko has found its mantra: the war on spam. The search startup, now six months old, is trying to challenge Bing and Google with a strategy that puts human curation and editorial judgment at the center of search and banishes spam altogether. CEO Rich Skrenta has been relentless in asserting that Google is filled with commercial spam and low-quality results (pre- and post-Panda). Enter Zorro and 100,000 Slashtags Skrenta continued that theme yesterday on the phone with Danny Sullivan and me in discussing Blekko's "Zorro" update, which goes live today. Described as a major release, Zorro incl [...]

Do@: The Search Engine Optimized for Mobile

Screen shot 2011-05-23 at 11.51.56 AM Tel Aviv-based do@ (pronounced "do at") probably won't get you to stop using Google on your smartphone (iPhone exclusively right now) but it's an intriguing new mobile "search engine" that takes a very different approach to delivering content on the go. The company, which also announced $7 million in new funding, doesn't index pages. Instead it shows live sites or apps that have been optimized for mobile presentation. It's similar to Google's preview functionality for mobile but all the pages on do@ are live and not cached. Rather than index thousands or millions of results, do@ presents [...]

Blekko Tightens Privacy Options, Will Keep User Data Only 48 Hours

As part of a series of updates to its user and search privacy options, Blekko says it will hold on to personal data for only 48 hours -- substantially less than major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Blekko, like other search engines, creates a record of visits that typically includes a searcher's IP address, location, browser, language, the date and time of the visit and similar information. Beginning today, Blekko says it will delete that personal search information within 48 hours. And if you're logged in to your Blekko account while searching, Blekko says it won't keep a rec [...]

Blekko Adds Facebook Comments To Search Results (But Why?)

If you've been hoping that someone's search engine would turn into a social network, today is your lucky day. Sure, Google and Bing have been making search results more social, and Bing shows Facebook "likes" in its search results, and Google has its +1 button experiment … but that's nothing compared to what Blekko is doing. Blekko is turning its search results page into something akin to Facebook Lite. If you login to Blekko via your Facebook account, the search results page will now include Facebook status updates from your friends that are (hopefully, but not always) related to [...]

Blekko Offers New Linkroll Widget & More Publisher Tools

Blekko has expanded its publisher/marketer outreach with two new tools and a dedicated Blekkogear page for those and other publisher offerings. One of the new tools is the Live Link Roll (shown at right as a screenshot), which is a widget that displays a site's most recent inbound links "as they happen in realtime," Blekko says. The Blekkogear page includes a widget building tool that generates a piece of iframe code for embedding on any website or blog. Site owners can include inbound links to multiple domains (or sub-domains) and customize the size and number of links to display. Blekko' [...]

Are Manual Solutions The Answer To Content Farms?

It was interesting to see some of the recent reactions when upstart Blekko decided to toss some sites out of their index. For the uninitiated it was a bit of a seeming PR play against Google whom have been getting smacked about for thin quality of late. If you hadn't guessed by now, we're talking about (Demand Media's) eHow and the other "top 20 spam sites" that were nuked. Of course the question remains, why? It certainly does seem like a knee jerk reaction that almost panders to the search community. Sure, I dislike running into weak content in the SERPs as much as the next guy. But I am [...]

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