Blekko has added more than 500 new categories and major interface upgrades to make its search engine more appealing as the startup gains more popularity.

User-curated search engine Blekko recently announced a series of upgrades that will direct searches to high-quality results in more than 500 categories. Additionally, the website received a new interface  that it believes will make it easier to use.

By adding more pre-curated categories to its search index, Blekko can be more effective in eliminating spam from its search results, the company said in its blog. While popular search engines rely on detailed algorithms that occasionally result in some low-quality results, Blekko’s focus is more on brands than links. So, for example, the Mayo Clinic will always rank higher than a content farm with countless articles on healthcare – even if the latter has more links.

What this means is that users will always be directed to good content from a Blekko search. With major search players, such as Bing and Google, users typically receive strong content as well. Though, their focus on linking strategy can occasionally result in low-quality content ranking high.

Google still dominates the searchscape with about 66 percent of all queries, Brafton recently reported. However, Blekko has managed to amass about 70 to 80 million queries each month. These numbers won’t bring it to the top of any lists, but the search startup has managed to stick around since launching last year.

The popularity of Google, Bing and Yahoo has resulted in a strong focus on SEO campaigns from marketers. However, Brafton reported recently that Blekko is targeting these popular engines with its “Three Engine Monte” feature, which allows users to enter a query and compare results from Google, Bing and Blekko on one page.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.