Blekko takes on Google with open search

The latest challenger to Google’s search engine crown has opened its doors to the public.
Blekko claims its service, which went live overnight, brings a human touch back into search results, allowing users to filter out spam results by defining the sites they want to search through so-called ‘slashtags’.
Chief and co-founder Rich Skrenta claims web search results are dominated by irrelevant spam sites that use keywords to muscle in on Google’s top results, telling the New York Times it wants to “clean up Web search.”
In a top ten “bill of rights” for web searches, the firm says searches should be open, that results should involve people, and that ranking data should not be kept secret.
Blekko has been available in beta form since the middle of the year. The firm has raised $24 million (€17.1 million) in funding from venture capitalists including U.S. Venture Partners, Marc Andreesen and Ron Conway.
Its search engine checks around three million sites for answers, but only shows specific information based on the search term entered. The firm has applied strict filters to seven of the most-spammed results, including healthcare, food recipes, automotive, hotels, song lyrics, finance and education.
Google said it welcomed the competition in a statement mailed to Reuters, claiming it boosted the whole market and encouraged all players to work harder.
The search firm can afford to be confident as previous attempts on its crown have fallen by the wayside.
Powerset, which offered “plain English” searches, was acquired by Microsoft in 2008, while Cuil – a search engine started by former Google staff – quietly folded in September after just two years, Reuters noted.