Google and Blekko are combating spam in their own wonderful ways, blocking content farms and creating tools to hide unwanted results. The war on spam is heating up for sure.
Google's recent efforts to curb spam may have been
spurred on by an upstart whose raison d'etre is providing a happy, spam-free
in November as the latest erstwhile challenger to Google's search hegemony.
It' not so much that Blekko is trying to beat Google -- even Microsoft Bing will
acknowledge that as an unlikely proposition for itself -- but that Blekko is
trying to stamp out spam better than the search giant.
While Google and Bing accept users' queries and search
for information using algorithms, Blekko uses algorithms, too, but tries a
crowd-sourced approach to search results to help users better pinpoint answers.
Users create slashtags, which group the search queries
people define on Blekko within the search box, searching only the sites users
want to cut out unwanted content.
While startups such as Cuil, Wowd and others have tried
to differentiate from Google by providing additional features and functionality
to improve search, Blekko tries to cut the fat many people see on Google.
The company launched in January a "spam clock
to count up spam creation for the whole year. One month later, the company
targeted content farms by
the top 20 spam sites from bits index, based on its users' click/spam
on results. This included ehow.com, one of Demand Media's top revenue-generating content farms.
In its latest front assault on spam, Blekko
AdSpam, a new AdSpam algorithm designed to recognize pages
which are spam and eliminate them before they ever appear in search results. This
tool blacklisted 1.1 million Web sites from its search engine.
Blekko's spam-fighting efforts, and complaints from
pundits about the declining quality of search, seemed to motivate Google. On
Jan. 21, Google
Principal Engineer Matt Cutts acknowledged
Google's spam issues and vowed to
focus on them.
To wit, Google Feb. 14 launched
the Personal Blocklist Chrome
extension to let users click the "block
url" button to block a site.
Ten days later, Google triggered
an algorithm change that denigrated content farms and some other
unfortunate Websites from Google.com. Finally, Google earlier this month launched
a feature to let Google.com searchers hide Websites they don't like
from their search results.
That's not to say that Google is copying, or matching
Blekko. They are two different search engines, operating at different capacities.
Google has 1 billion-plus searchers. Blekko receives only 1 million queries a day.