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New search engine looks to slash web spam


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Creators promise to fine-tune results with hashtags

A new search engine currently in open beta is promising to cut through many of the extraneous web pages set up by search engine optimisation (SEO) operators.

Blekko was set up by Mike Markson and Rich Skrenta with the aim of cutting out duplications and unreliable web pages from search results. The site uses slashtags - such as /conservative or /youtube - to refine the results.

The tags are designed to eliminate duplicate articles used to spam information and results that are not from relevant information sources.

"Look at what happened to email traffic, where 95 per cent is spam," Skrenta told the BBC. "What happens when 95 per cent of every URL on the web is spam? At that point an algorithm can't tell the difference between the good content and the bad content."

The founders are adamant that they are not trying to take on Google, as many companies have tried to do in the past.

"We don't expect to put Google out of business, and that is not our goal. That is not going to happen," said Markson.

Blekko has published what it calls a 'bill of rights' for users of the search engine.

1. Search shall be open

2. Search results shall involve people

3. Ranking data shall not be kept secret

4. Web data shall be readily available

5. There is no one-size-fits-all for search

6. Advanced search shall be accessible

7. Search engine tools shall be open to all

8. Search & community go hand-in-hand

9. Spam does not belong in search results

10. Privacy of searchers shall not be violated

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