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, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Turkey and has a presence in Palo Alto, where its Yandex Labs is based.
I spoke earlier this week to Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta who said that Yandex will help his company in a number of ways beyond the funding, including providing some technology infrastructure support. As a result of the new funding and Yandex support Blekko’s index and search results will improve considerably “in the tail.” Skrenta believes that for the most common search queries Blekko has been highly competitive but not done as well for more obscure or longer query strings.
This new funding and association with Yandex is a significant accomplishment for Blekko and ensures that the company has the resources to continue to develop its unique take on search/social search — and remain a thorn in Google’s side — into the foreseeable future.