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Blekko's Suite

Podcast with Rich Skrenta, technology executive and CEO of Blekko

Rich Skrenta Rich Skrenta

This is Peter Clayton reporting from SMX East in New York. One of the most interesting start-ups I learned about at SMX East, is blekko. A search engine. I know what you're thinking, "Right another search engine, what are they thinking?" But please hold your skepticism and your judgement. Blekko is on to something. First, the company has raised nearly $20 million. Second, wouldn't it be nice to have more than just two search engines? Especially one that takes a new, fresh approach to search you can't do using Google or Bing?

"I don’t think this is about Google or Bing. This is about providing more choice and it’s also about what’s happening to the web, you remember what happened to e-mail in the 90s where Microsoft was actually putting out reports saying, “Hey 99% of SMTP traffic is all spam now”. That’s what’s happening to the web now. We had a billion URLs in 2000. We have a hundred billion URLs today. There’s going to be a trillion URLs in a couple of years and I tell you what, they are not all good URLs in fact most of them are going to be junk." - Rich Skrenta

Blekko's CEO, Rich Skrenta, participated in a keynote roundtable Monday afternoon titled "Search Marketing in the Age of the Google/Bing Duopoly. Rich has no intention (or illusion) of being a "Google killer." However, he's smart, passionate, and has developed an very interesting approch to search: slashtags. Here's an example. Let's say you're researching global warming, however you're focus is on liberal points-of-view. If your search string is global warming/liberal on blekko, you'll get results with a liberal slant. Of course, the same would be true by adding /conservative to your search query. Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land wrote a great, in-depth review of blekko.

There's one other very important differentiator: As Melanie Saxe writes in Submit Express, "Another feature that sets Blekko apart from other search engines is its open crawl and rank data policy. As the first principle in Blekko's Web Search Bill of Rights, the new search engine promises that search shall be open. The third principle states that ranking data shall not be kept secret. In accordance with these and other open-policy principles, Blekko offers a suite of tools which help users understand what factors are driving Blekko's rankings as well as allows users to view any url's web search footprint. "

"According to Skrenta, Blekko was created from scratch and features "a multi-billion page index, a prioritized crawl, and new ranking and anti-spam technology."

Rich Skrenta Biography

Source: blekko

Rich Skrenta, CEO Rich is a seasoned technology executive with nearly two decades of industry experience. Most recently he was founder and CEO of Topix, the leading online news community. Prior to Topix, Rich headed up engineering for a variety of products within AOL, including AOL Shopping, AOL Music and Netscape Search. Prior to AOL, Rich was the co-founder and CEO of NewHoo, which was acquired by Netscape and renamed the Open Directory Project. The ODP is the world's largest human edited directory of the web and used by Google, Yahoo, AOL and many other companies. Rich was an engineering manager at Sun Microsystems prior to NewHoo and has also had development roles at Unix Systems Labs and the Amiga UNIX Group at Commodore Business Machines. Rich holds a patent in network security, and has authored many well-known pioneering software efforts, including some early multi-user online games. Rich graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Computer Science.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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