Blech to Blekko

One of the biggest SEO stirrings this morning is over the 30million that Yandex just invested in Blekko. If you haven’t heard of either one, don’t sweat it, my spell check is painting red squiggly lines under both of them too.

Blech to Blekko Search

Why so negative? Well Blekko is trying to ‘get started’ in a game that’s already been in play for some time. When you look at the competition’s investment in search engine work it’s a bit like France suddenly saying they’re ready to join WWII. In this case ‘better late than never’ really doesn’t fit the situation.

Why is a new contender such a bad idea? Take a moment to compare search results on Google, Bing, Blekko, and Yandex for a major site, something that’s been around for some time, had some serious competition and SEO efforts.

This site (Beanstalk) in particular is a great example, we’ve had thousands of our pages duplicated over the years, so try a search for ‘seo services’ or a keyword we really should be at the top of the rankings for. Blekko won’t show us in the top 20, heck even if you search for “beanstalk” we’re #4 because of ‘duplication’ penalties. To Blekko, crawling the web with fresh spiders, all the duplication looks the same, they can’t tell who owns the content or who published it first, they would have to use Google or some really well developed search engine to get that data.

The fact that Yandex’s CEO, Arkady Volozh, will be joining Blekko’s board is interesting. It’s notable because if Yandex could work out a deal to improve Blekko’s crawl data using the much better indexes over at Yandex, then they could make up for some lost time.

It’s not all bad over at Blekko, in fact it’s interesting to see what information they are sharing with searchers in an attempt to explain their anti-spam approach to search results. Have a look at the SEO link in any Blekko search result:

SEO Link on Blekko Search

Clicking that link will take you to a metrics page where Blekko seems to explain it’s result/ranking for that site. The tools they offer on these screens, including drilling down to backlinks by site, are fantastic:

SEO results for backlinks on Blekko Search

I’ve seen worse services from paid products pitched at professional SEOs!

If the crawl data wasn’t so poorly pulled together and had better history, it would be at the top of my list for SEO tools. It certainly is a great free way to see some SEO statistics from a fresh perspective, even if you can’t really get an accurate picture from the limited index.

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