ADOTAS – Yes, I’m writing about Blekko again (I hope my coverage doesn’t resemble TechCrunch’s lust for Quora), but the company keeps coming up with cool new stuff. First it was the slash-tag powered, human-curated social search engine; then there was the Spam Clock, which led to the entertaining and pyro-rific Burning Spam celebration; then it launched a mobile app; and finally the company cemented a partnership with programming Q&A resource Stack Overflow. All this has happened in the last six months, by the way.
Now Blekko is setting its sites on publishers with a new toolkit that includes the Live Link Roll, an embeddable site widget that displays who is linking to a pub’s site as they link — and then who’s linking to the linkers. As Blekko explains, links are really the “Internet’s badge of honor,” peer validation similar to my fourth-grade classmates’ cheers when I ate that worm on the playground… Or maybe not.
But wait, there’s more: the Embeddable Search Box allows publishers to create a customized vertical search powered by Blekko — it can be tweaked to only feature content from third-party sites the publisher gives the thumbs up.
Also included is an SEO Toolbar, which allows users to add slashtags from any site as well as mark spam and view SEO data — all in real-time. Finally, Blekko offers a default search page and simple access to RSS feeds.
Oh, did we mention all these tools are free? Apparently if you act now, Blekko will send you a t-shirt. I totally need a “Iron Maiden Tour ’83” shirt to boost my hipster cred… Oh wait, they’re Blekko shirts. Well, I guess that makes sense.
No, Blekko’s upstart social search engine isn’t really cutting into Google’s mammoth search market share, but it’s highlighting that there are viable alternatives to the Google way, which just isn’t working the same magic anymore. And there’s no better way to win publisher hearts than give them free search tools.