I first covered Blekko about a year ago (November 2010). After that aside from mentioning it a few times I haven’t talked about it, but I still like it consider it to have a lot of good functionality. Recently Blekko announced improved search relevancy and a lots of automatic slashtagging.
Automatic application of slashtags (a way of categorizing information) has been applied to over 500 categories. Using slashtags, you can narrow down your search results contextually, which will get you a wider variety of more relevant results (ideally) than trying to narrow down using specific keywords.
Some of Blekko’s slashtags act as special syntax; using the slashtag /monte at the end of any search query will show you search results from three different search engines. The twist that you don’t get to see which search engine produced which results until you choose the column of results most relevant to you. This is an interesting tool to use because you’ll see a) which results are tagged with which Blekko categories, and b) which sites on other search engines are banned on Blekko. (First impression: Blekko does not like eHow nohow.)
(I also like Monte because it emphasizes, to me, that search has not been solved. When playing with /monte I did not consistently pick one search engine for the best set of results. I didn’t even pick one most of the time. There’s still work to be done to make Web search the best it could possibly be, and nobody’s figured it out yet. Not even Google.)
Running a few slashtag searches did show that it was useful at narrowing down results, but the downside is that I’m apparently not very good at guessing slashtags. There is a partial directory available at http://blekko.com/tag/show#tab3. If you want more suggestions you can also enter your search and a forward slash, and Blekko will suggest a variety of slashtags for you.
Blekko continues to impress. The only complaint I have is that I can’t find a complete slashtag directory, either for categories or for special syntax. Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong place?