Blekko, the hard-line anti-spam search site, has revamped their search results page format both on the front- and back-end. Known as "Zorro," the update changes numerous visual elements, removes clutter, and adds automatic support for over a thousand slashtags.
The Visual Blekko Changes
It seems that Blekko is finally giving in to peer pressure, changing their link color from their once unique red to the traditional blue.
Additionally, the left side of the SERP displays the favicon for each site. More importantly, however, Blekko has completely removed the left bar. The options previously listed here have either been removed or displaced to a less intrusive UI element.
Here's an example (yes, it's me "searching for love"):
One of those "less intrusive UI elements" is all new: a top bar that appears directly below the search bar. Your options here include the suggested slashtags, "share" options, and the number of pages pulled by your query.
Meanwhile, on the right side you'll find a new presentation of Blekko's selling points:
- Slashtags, through a "People who make this search better" section that introduces you to editors and contributors of any slashtag you're using, the option to browse through or create slashtags, and the "slashtag of the day"
- Free stuff, through a visually prominent link to the blekkogear page.
- The mobile app, through a visually prominent link to the download pages for both the Android and iPhone version
- Facebok integration, through visually prominent "Facebook connect with Blekko" option and a field that lets you make posts to your wall discussing your current search.
Only one visually prominent element will be displayed per page, and it seems to rotate randomly.
Back-End Blekko Changes
Blekko's database of slashtags has been growing, but autotomatic assigning of those tags and official support have both been minimal.
As noted on TechCrunch, Blekko is now auto-including about 1,000 slashtags, up from just a handful previously. Further, the number of community-created slashtags has broken past the 100,000 mark. Most importantly, when the search you conduct seems to be highly relevant to a specific tag, you'll even get results specifically from that category.
I have some mixed feelings on that last enhancement; searching for my name, as one example, brings up only pages from the "religion" slashtag (if I include my middle initial) or "movie" slashtag (if I don't), and there's no simple way to prevent that. However, since these slashtag pages are curated by real, breathing humans, they should also be spam-free.
This streamlining and feature-heavy update shows that Blekko is still here, still fighting, and still growing. They now get over a million monthly unique visitors, and with an ad model currently in the testing phases, it's likely we'll hear more from Blekko in the months and years to come.
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