After putting it off for a few months, I have finally decided to try out Blekko, the much-vaunted anti-content farm/anti-spam search engine. The whole idea, at least from what I have gathered so far, is that it is user-contributed search results. The idea is great, after all everything is going social these days. See what your friends think is great. Let the users decide what’s good content.
Since SEO companies have been under the spotlight recently because of the NYTimes expose of black hat seo techniques, I decided to key in this keyword to see how Blekko fared: “Singapore SEO Company”. (I didn’t log in to Blekko, I didn’t slash. I’m just an average user).
The results are quite interesting. Of the 20 results returned on the first page, 3 have nothing to do with SEO. Ranked number 6 currently is “Singapore Election Watch”. Ranked number 15, is a printing company. And on number 20, we have a blog post of about how this person ordered a phone that was not delivered by the courier company.
Ranked number 18, is a Malaysia SEO company. Now, I have nothing against Malaysian SEO companies. I think they’re great (must sound politically correct these days)! But…I was searching for “Singapore SEO company”. Duh…
My question is: why did Blekko return 3 totally irrelevant results for my search term? What has a website about Singapore Election be listed so high up in the results page? What has a printing company and a blog complaining about courier companies got to do with “Singapore SEO company”? Obviously, these are not spammy sites, nor were they content farms.
It does appear that Blekko has got much work to do to modify it’s algorithm. I did a few other queries, and they were all the same: randomly generated results. In one instance, searching for the term “Singapore web hosting company” brings up 3 syndicated press releases of a web hosting company that is listed on the first page. It does appear that Blekko gives a lot of authority to press releases. And further, it doesn’t filter out duplicated, in this case, triplicated content. I really see very little value in the results generated.
Perhaps I’m used to Google. Perhaps I’m biased. But I don’t like what I see in Blekko. And unless it prioritizes and does something useful in giving useful results (it’s a search engine right?), they should stop wasting time hyping about dropping spams from their index. The spams from content farm might actually be good for Blekko (not that I like content farms), given the lack of meaningful content they’ve indexed in the first place. Then again, I’m being too harsh. Blekko is still in Beta. In the mean time, I’ll stick with Google.
Screen Shot of results generated for the search term “Singapore Web Hosting Company”