November 1, 2010 by staff 

Blekko, A small Silicon Valley company with some reputable sponsors to launch a test version of a new search engine that the company says is a key ingredient missing from Google, the human touch.

According Blekko, the Web has become increasingly saturated with websites such as spam, specially designed to display search results from Google, but the content is heavier in marketing fields of substantive information.

The remedy, Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta, told Reuters, is to restrict searches to groups of web sites that people do not, computers have been pre-approved to be the best sources of information for specific topics.

The approach is decidedly old school in an industry where computer algorithms developed by engineers from Google and Microsoft Corp have long been considered the ideal medium for finding information on the sea of online data.

Blekko raised and $ 24 million in funding as it has developed its product in the last three years, angel investors like Marc Andreessen, creator of the first web browser, and Ron Conway, who has invested in technology companies like Twitter , Foursquare, and even Google.

Blekko joins a long list of search engines have tried to improve Google’s business, with a path less-than-stellar. Cuil, a high level search 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 expected to move Blekko Google in the short term. But he said the company has developed a creative approach to finding that could become popular as a secondary search engine for certain types of queries.

In an emailed statement, Google said it welcomed the competition that helps users to obtain useful information and gives people new options. “Having great competitors is a huge benefit for us and everyone in the search space that makes us work harder, and at the end of the day everyone benefits from that,” Google said.

Blekko is launching a special directory of websites that can provide spam-free results in seven categories of search in general: health, recipes, song lyrics, hotels, cars, colleges and personal finance.

Blekko also allows users to create their own directories of web sites on any subject, so that the search engine seeks information only from sources that the user deems relevant or reliable.

The websites focus on quality over quantity is very attractive, “said Sterling. “We do not care if there are 30 million results or the results of 40 million, which is really ‘Give me the information I need in an efficient manner, so you have to go wading through all this nonsense,” he said.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic, edited by Carol Bishopric)

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