This article was published on August 12, 2010

Is Metasearch Engine Taking On Blekko With Its New PowerSearch?

Is Metasearch Engine Taking On Blekko With Its New PowerSearch?
Alex Wilhelm
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Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

We’ve covered twice before, and both times we gave them high marks for their product, and low marks for their aesthetic values. That is the case again today.

The company has just released a new feature, or really feature set, to their search engine that makes it extremely simple and quick to use to execute a search on other websites. If that sounds a little strange, for a website to send away its traffic to its competitors, you have to recall that is a metasearch engine, meaning that its normal search results are a mashup from other engines. Qrobe uses Bing, Google, and Ask. does a very good job at its main purpose: being a fast, accurate search engine. With the launch of its new ‘PowerSearch” the company is now not only a search engine, but is also a search accelerator. The company has introduced a plethora of short commands that allow you to dictate to just what you are looking for, saving you time. Since you are using to launch you around the internet, you never have to start anywhere else. Let’s take a look at what the company says:

Qrobe PowerSearch lets you get straight from your search bar to your search destination. Find a movie on Netflix (avatar /nf), a video on YouTube (inception trailer /yt), your favorite show on Hulu (office /hu) or find a picture on Qrobe image search (flowers /i), right from the search bar. With 20+ power hints get to most of your favorite destinations straight from the search bar. [TNW: if you don’t have Qrobe as your browser selected search provider, you can do this on their regular website, of course]

You indicate your intention by adding simple hints to the search query. To search for a movie avatar on Netflix type in avatar /nf into your search bar. The /nf hint indicates to Qrobe that you wish to search on Netflix. Searching for css /wiki will prompt Qrobe to find the best link about CSS on Wikipedia and take you directly to that page.

In short, you add a ‘/’ and a short string of letters to tell the team where you want to go. There are a good number of possible options that you can choose from. In actual use the extensions are quick, and quite useful.

But What About Blekko?

If you follow the search scene you will know the name Blekko, a search company that is still in beta. This is what I had to say on Blekko after their recent demo here in Palo Alto:

So what is Blekko’s secret sauce? For starters, they are not trying to kill Google, or so they say. If that is true will become clearer over the next year, but for now the company is looking to execute searches that you “can’t do anywhere else.” The engine focuses on ’slashtags’ that allow users to search with a certain perspective.

Want to search the internet from a conservative perspective? You can do that. Want do search the web from a Christian view, you can do that too.While Google and Bing want to be the world’s best vanilla search engine, Blekko wants to do the opposite and bring you results with an opinion.

Not a direct match to Qrobe’s PowerSearch, right? Not entirely, but the method that the two use to filter and sort search results is the same, and does have some options that execute along similar lines as Blekko. You can see the full list of PowerSearch terms here.

Are they doing the same thing? No, but these two indie search engines are competing for the same slice of the market: people willing to walk away from the Google or Bing fold, and that makes them foes. Add in that is sure to emulate some of what Blekko is doing into their PowerSearch capabilities over the next few months and we have a serious competition.

Similar potential market, similar execution, and products that are sure to overlap more and more, Blekko and are soon to become well acquainted.

For the time being until you get a Blekko invite, I would give Qrobe’s PowerSearch a try, it is rather useful after all.

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