Let’s just be clear: Blekko is the best thing since sliced bread. It’s the most advanced search engine ever created and every SEO professional or webmaster has to use it. No irony here whatsoever.
I’ve been a beta tester before the public launch on Monday but I mainly used Blekko as a replacement for Yahoo Site Explorer, Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO. I didn’t even get the whole “slashtag” thing. Blekko is not solely an excellent SEO tool or rather set of tools though. It’s a full fledged search engine that can yield better results than Google when used properly.
Since Monday when Blekko launched I’ve become a slasher that is I’ve customized Blekko to become the perfect search engine for my own use.
Search Engine Land has already provided an overview of the plethora of SEO tools Blekko offers. Bruce Clay has a guide for Blekko’s basic features. I will focus on using Blekko as your personal or rather business search central.
As a business blogger I’m doing a whole lot of research every day so I’m a prolific search user throughout the day. I used mainly Google, Topsy, Delicious and various aggregators to find out what’s going on. Blekko renders some of the latter redundant. Also I don’t use Google anymore when I search for SEO and search related news and resources. I use Blekko custom search aka slashtags. I’m a slasher!
Create you’re custom vertical search engines on the fly.
What’s a slashtag? It’s basically a custom vertical search engine. You can either use the predefined ones or create your own within minutes. A slashtag limits the search to only the sites you trust or the people who have set up a slashtag trust.
Check out these custom search engines for search and social marketers you can use right away:
Official list of SEO and marketing blogs that focus on SEO as well. I am an editor of this list.
The official list of SEO sites which happens to be identical with one one provided by Danny Sullivan himself. Only the roughly 30 top sites in search.
Lee Odden has created this well sorted list of social media and social media marketing blogs. The slashtag contains almost 50 entries now.
Very inclusive list of all kinds of SEO related publications curated by SEO expert Aaron Wall. Even Google Code, TechCrunch or Seth’s Blog is an “SEO blog” here. On the other hand you won’t find my blog in here as of now:
and dead blogs like seo-scoop.com show up in the results on top.
Whenever you search for something you can restrict your search to just trustworthy sources by using a slashtag. So instead of searching for [seo] you search for [seo /seoblogs] or [seo /seobook/seoblogs]
I’ve created a SEO 2.0 slashtag some weeks ago for testing purposes. It contains mainly SEO definitions as of now:
The official /seoblogs slashtag gets suggested each time someone searches for SEO. The Blekko team had already provided a list with 30 of them but then yours truly joined in the fun and now it contains 130 SEO blogs and counting. I haven’t added just everybody I know but only active blogs with a rep in the industry. Thus I couldn’t add some of my best friends like Cape Cod SEO or SEOCO for not updating their blogs enough in 2010.
Blekko is not perfect yet, it’s beta after all but it reminds me of the early days of Firefox, when it was still called Phoenix. I don’t mean to say that Blekko is like a browser, I mean that Blekko’s target audience are the same people who were Firefox early adopters. The same people will love Blekko and only rarely revert to the Internet Explorer of search: Google.
Blekko is advanced search in a simple interface. You don’t have to type in advanced search operators, use clumsy forms or add parameters to the actual search URL. Blekko is advanced by default. Just select the right slashtag.