There's a new search engine kid on the block, Blekko that just publicly debuted tonight for the entire Web. Blekko hardly thinks it can knock Google off its throne, or even Bing out of the #2 spot, but is aiming for a worthy 3rd-place that in the search business can pay off handsomely.
Funny name aside, Blekko's spin on search is to have lists of sites that form some sort of grouping (called a slashtag) that anyone can then use in their own searches. For example, if I did a search for ‘election results', I may want to restrict it to only the ‘/politics' slashtag.
Apart from the hundreds of slashtags that Blekko already has, anyone can register and create their own tags. Each search result also shows up with a button so that you may tag that site.
Of course, while this system of tagging helps to eliminate a lot of the spammy sites out there, the obvious issue is that brand new high quality sites won't necessarily be included in the results right away. But don't let this stop you from giving Blekko a test-run.
There are some potentially very beneficial users and uses of tags, such as researchers who tend to use the same set of sites or want to quickly narrow down their result sets. Frequent searchers who are familiar with Google's ‘hidden' keywords such as ‘weather', ‘define', etc. can use tags in a similar way.
There is a learning curve due to the number of slashtags, but the power and efficiency that you gain could be well worth the investment.