Search engine Blekko is taking its initiative to insert itself into the news as much as possible one step further today, and is launching a Blekkogear hub for its publishing tools, presenting a package suite of search-related iframe embeds (sorry WordPress users!) for publishers as well as its already existing toolbar and other goodies.
Instead of coming up with its own version of Google Analytics or AdSense, Blekko has gone the widget route, riding the wave of publicity surrounding the JC Penney paid links controversy by emphasizing search transparency. Perhaps the most useful tool in the suite, Blekko is offering publishers a Link Roll Widget, an easily embeddable way to “show off” the organic links to their sites (customizable by number and size) much like they show off retweets or Facebook “Likes,” among other things.
Along with a free t-shirt and Blekko trading cards (yeah) for anyone who asks, here’s a sampling of what you can find on Blekkogear.
Blekko Link Roll Widget
The Blekko Link Roll Widget allows you to customize a widget showing recent inbound links to your site as they happen in “realtime,” as organic linking is a the web’s foremost method of validation.
Embeddable Search Box
Blekko now offers publishers the ability to embed a custom Blekko search box on different verticals, using the Blekko curated slashtags like /techblogs or /food or even something more personalized like my slashtag that only searches TechCrunch. This might be useful for sites that don’t have their own powerful search functionalities.
In the same vein as the Google Toolbar, the Blekko Toolbar allows you to search from Blekko, add your Blekko slashtags from your browser, view a site’s SEO statistics (including visible stats for Inlinks and Site Rank) as well as mark sites as spam while you browse.
Lack of Chrome support is heartbreaking, though not surprising.
Blekko RSS Feeds
Blekkogear now provides you with a one stop shop to create RSS feeds for slashtag searches, like this one for techblogs.
Blekko Search Engine Default
Allows you to easily make Blekko your default search engine, another one that’s a no-go for Chrome and inexplicably Safari.
Blekko is also offering a badge with it own Site Rank score and Inbound links numbers, for websites who want to take pride in where they stand on Blekko and look super nerdy in the process.
While I’m suspect of the actual utility of some of these (specifically the Site Badge) Blekkogear is an interesting move by the search underdog as a way to get more distribution and eyeballs on its unique approach to search. And with its $24 million in funding from Conway, Andreessen and others, I wouldn’t be surprised if Blekko, who most recently paired up with hacker darling StackOverflow, pulls another similar stunt next week.
Blekko is a search company founded by Rich Skrenta and his core team from previous company Topix and Netscape’s Open Directory. Blekko was founded halfway through 2007 and has already earned itself an angel round from Baseline Ventures and two ex-Googlers.