With reports indicating that consumers plan to spend more online this holiday season, search engine Blekko wants to get a share of shopping queries with a new search vertical – /safeshop. The search feature was announced on Cyber Monday, in time for online spending frenzies.
Blekko, which Brafton reported has been called a potential "Google killer," aims to cut the spam in search results and reward quality content. Its new slashtag ensures only reputable shopping sites selected by humans are included in search results, offering a safer shopping experience to wary online consumers.
Rich Skrenta, CEO of Blekko, says this tool aims to "weed out online Grinches who want to steal." He believes it gives his search engine a significant advantage. "Algorithmic search is sinking. Web users collectively will be able to build a holiday shopping search experience that protects consumers," Skrena says.
His assessment of search algorithms comes just after search giant Google was criticized by the New York Times in a report about one very unhappy online customer. As Brafton reported, the newspaper called into question how Google ranks businesses in its results. Meanwhile, Blekko positions itself as a company that only lets trustworthy sites into its results, let alone top spots.
It will be interesting to see if the holiday shopping search vertical draws more consumers to the nascent search engine this holiday season. Blekko has already demonstrated impressive early adoption, with Brafton reporting that it handled 1 million queries per day in its first week.