Blekko execs talk search engine strategy

Blekko's new search engine has so far gotten over US$ 20 million in investments. Blekko co-founder Rich Skrenta and Marketing VP Mark Markson exchanged email with IDGNOW! Brazil about their plans and strategies and no, it's not another Google Killer. Rather, it plans to filter the 50 most relevant websites for each one of 100,000 categories.

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IDG: Blekko's serp is very SEO instructive and you give away a lot of relevant info on the URL - will this feature remain when it goes online for good?

Yes. In fact we are expanding the tools and data we are showing. We have added new views that show aggregated statistics per domain, not just per url. We also have a new site comparison tool.

IDG: You bring up a lot of relevant info for SEOs about the indexed sites. How do you think that providers, such as SEO Shops which offer this same type of info should enhance their offer in order to stay competitive?

We're making this data available because we want to be open about our crawl and index. But we are not a seo company, the level of service you would get from a company dedicated to seo analytics is not going to be present in our product. We would like to work with seo tools companies, there are probably APIs we could offer them which would add useful data for their users.

IDG: Will Blekko go mobile? What makes a site considered mobile friendly by Blekko?

We are developing a mobile theme and are trying to improve the web search experience when used from a mobile device. Sites don't need to do anything in particular on blekko's behalf to optimize for the mobile experience.

IDG: How does Blekko see Black Hat SEO? Are there directions such as Google's webmaster tools?

Blekko has a set of anti-spam filters which eliminate a bunch of spam at the crawl and index level in our search engine. Certain kinds of spam won't be visible in our /seo tools because they triggered a filter which kept them out of our index entirely.

IDG: Does Blekko punish sites which use this sort of techniques? If yes, what levels of punishment are used?

We simply don't index sites which trigger certain filters. It's not really a punishment. :-)

IDG: Is there any legal agreement with Yahoo to exhibit its search results on Blekko's SERP?

Blekko has signed up for third party APIs from many companies including Amazon, Twitter, Yahoo, etc. By appending the API as a slashtag to a search, blekko gives users the ability to see results from just that particular site (ex. cameras /amazon). With respect to Yahoo in particular, users can access search results by appending /yahoo to a query. Also, to the degree our own 3 billion page crawl does not provide at least a certain number of results for any query, we show /yahoo results as backfill.

IDG: What's Blekko's bot name? How should webmasters prepare not to block its crawl?

Blekko's crawler is called ScoutJet. You can visit www.scoutjet.com to read about our crawl policy, robots.txt handling, and the IPs we crawl from

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