Blekko Has Challenges in Curated Search
"We have a vision of curated algorithmic search that brings quality back to the Web at scale, and involves the public to get there," Skrenta wrote Nov. 1 on his personal blog. The company is starting modestly with results in health, recipes, song lyrics, hotels, automobiles, colleges and personal finance. Skrenta suggested users try searching Blekko for "cure for headaches," "Obama/date," global warming/conservative," and many more.Google wields 66 percent market share in the United States. With Bing now powering search for Yahoo, the two command roughly 28 percent of the search market. Still, others continue to try to disrupt the current search market with no success. In 2008, Cuil challenged Google and quickly fizzled, shutting down in September. Wowd launched in late 2009, wisely offering more customized search without the claims of being a Google killer. Blekko is also joining an increasingly crowded market for curated Websites created in the mold of Wikipedia. Quora, for example, comprises a series of questions and answer sessions. Facebook Questions is another new service that fits in this mold. Google also tried curated search with SearchWiki in 2008, but later ceased this effort and replaced it with starred search. Google is, understandably, unconcerned by Blekko. "We welcome competition that helps deliver useful information and gives people new choices," a Google spokesperson told eWEEK. "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."
Blekko, which has raised $24 million in funding from angel investors including Marc Andreessen and Ron Conway, is making a bid where each year it seems one to two startups try and fail.