New Internet search engine to have 'human touch'
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By Catholic Online
11/1/2010 (8 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
With Google being the unchallenged master of all Internet search engines - and engines such as Yahoo! And Bing failing to make much of a dent, a brand new Internet Web searcher entitled Blekko allegedly has a key ingredient that is missing from the others -- the human touch.
A small Silicone Valley-based company with some major financial backing, Blekko aims to narrow searches to more relevant Web sites.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) According to Blekko, the Web has become overrun with spam-like Web sites, specially designed to pop up in Google's search results but whose content is heavier on marketing pitches than substantive information. A small Silicone Valley-based company with some major financial backing, Blekko aims to narrow searches to more relevant Web sites. Blekko Chief Executive Rich Skrenta says the search results will be sites that people, not computers, have pre-approved as being the best sources of information for particular topics. Computer algorithms developed by engineers at Google and Microsoft Corp, have for years been considered the ideal way to find information in the sea of online data. Blekko has raised $24 million in funding as it has developed its product over the past three years, with angel investors including Marc Andreessen, the creator of the first Web browser, and Ron Conway, who has invested in tech companies including Twitter, Foursquare and even Google. Blekko is just one of many search engines that have tried to corner Google's business. Most have a less-than-stellar track record. Cuil, a high-profile search engine launched by former Google employees in 2008, quietly shut down in September; Powerset, a search engine that let people ask questions in plain English, was acquired by Microsoft in 2008. Greg Sterling, an Internet consultant and a contributing editor for the online blog Search Engine Land, said he doesn't expect that Blekko will displace Google any time soon - but the company has developed a creative approach to search that might become popular as a secondary search engine for certain types of queries. Google says that it welcomes competition that helps users get useful information and gives people new choices. "Having great competitors is a huge benefit to us and everyone in the search space-it makes us all work harder, and at the end of the day everyone benefits from that," Google says. Blekko allows users to create their own personal directories of websites for any topic, so that the search engine only looks for information from sources the user deems relevant or trustworthy.
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