Blekko, the advanced search engine for power users has so many advantages that it took me quite a while to find out about them. There are plenty of use cases for both search users as well as webmaster and SEO practitioners. Blekko basically replaces a dozen of others tools if you use more than the obvious features.
Thus I have compiled a list of 30 ways to use Blekko for search and SEO.
To understand most of these features you have to remember what a slashtag is: It’s basically a search engine for a special topic or range of sites. For instance the slashtag /architecture deals with, you guess it, architecture but it searches only within a few dozens of handpicked sites.
Take note that you’ll need to register and log in to use many of the techniques and features described below. Blekko is clearly not your Mom’s search engine. It’s not for the lazy users either it seems. Once you know how to use its advanced features you’ll be better off than using Google in many cases.
- Search like you do on Google by simply entering your query
- Wait a “second” and choose predefined slashtags or key phrases you may want to search from the appearing drop down
- Check most recent results (newest first) by adding the /date slashtag to your search
- Search for images using the /images slashtag
- Search for videos using the /videos slashtag
- Search on a specific website: The “site:” search works like in Google. Example: http://blekko.com/ws/mahalo+site:seobook.com
- Find similar sites like on SimilarWeb by typing a Domain name and clicking similar in the results. Example: http://blekko.com/ws/seoptimise.com+/similar
- Combine more than one slashtag to get the news from a particular niche. Example: http://blekko.com/ws/+/seoblogs+/date
- Click “cache” below the actual results to see the saved version of the page and to highlight the search terms you searched for
- Click “spam” to nuke spammy or low quality results you don’t want to find the site in the future (requires registration and login)
- Search using default slashtags by adding a space and then the slashtag
- Search using user’s slashtags by adding a space a user name and the slashtag. Example: http://blekko.com/ws/solar+/onreact/greenblogs
- Create a slashtag (custom search engine on the fly) by clicking the “create a slashtag” menu item on the left before your profile image.
- Follow slashtags (to get noticed and added to one)
- Create nested slashtags by adding existing slashtags to your new slashtag. example: I created a slashtag that combines all the other major SEO related slashtags. It’s called /seoresources
Inside your Browser
- Download and install the Blekko toolbar for Firefox or Internet Explorer
- Add a Blekko search plugin to Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. Go here and click “Blekko” to install it. Btw. I’m the creator of the plugin. You can do that manually as well in Google Chrome in the options.
- Add Blekko to your browser address bar in Firefox: Type about:config in the address bar (where the URL/website address goes usually), then enter “keyword.URL” into the “filter” input. Double click the entry you find and type in “http://blekko.com/ws/” into the prompt (window with input appearing). Done. Now whenever you type in a search query and hit enter you’ll search for that query on Blekko.
- Find out why a site ranks on top and whether it’s legit by adding the /rank slashtag. Example: http://blekko.com/ws/seo+/rank
- Check the backlink profile of a site to see where it’s popular and thus notice artificial backlink patterns by clicking “seo”. Example: http://blekko.com/ws/www.seoptimise.com+/seo
- Check domain popularity by clicking “inbound links” and scrolling down to see the list of domains, most important first.
- Check actual backlinks by clicking “links” below search results or adding the /links slashtag behind your URL
- Check the popularity of internal pages of a site by adding the /sitepages slashtag. Example: http://blekko.com/ws/www.seoptimise.com+/sitepages or clicking the “site pages” tab in the /seo interface.
- Compare your site to a competitor by clicking “compare” and adding both URLs
- Check for content theft (and other duplicate content) either by clicking “duplicate content” or adding /domanduptext.
- Get even more detailed SEO data by adding the /inbound slashtag to a domain. Example: http://blekko.com/ws/www.seoptimise.com+/inbound
Misc. Blekko Uses and Hacks
- Add SEO data to Blekko search results with a GreaseMonkey script provided by my friend Matthew Diehl
- Import your most bookmarked Delicious domains to Blekko to create a slashtag using this hack
How do you use Blekko? In case you don’t use Blekko yet, why don’t you? Blekko isn’t perfect yet. It has to rely on Yahoo fo long tail results and on Bing for image search but more often than not it offers quality before quantity. I use more Blekko than Google now.