With all due respect to DuckDuckGo’s solid growth, in the alternative search engines arena, the “spam-free” Blekko is in full command. In the last few months, Blekko enjoyed a crazy traffic rise which I can only portray as the beginning of the Pinterest lift-off, the search engine version.
Initially I intended that the subject of this post will be a head-to-head comparison between the two alternative search engines DuckDuckGo and Blekko. But as I compared their stats (using Alexa, Compete, Quantcast and DoubleClick Ad Planner) I understood there isn’t a real competition here.
I first noticed the gradual increase in popularity of Blekko few months ago on December 2011 where it announced on a major upgrade to its interface. since then, I’ve been following it and sometimes I even use the search engine- It mostly performs pretty well, offers somewhat similar results to Bing.
Yesterday, Blekko’s CEO Rich Skrenta decided to show off a bit and published in a blog post the site’s traffic U.S. stats from Hitwise (slightly over 400K weekly visitors on the week ending on April 14th) and from Compete (Nearly 1.6 million monthly visitors on March).
But what really shocked me, is Blekko’s own internal traffic data chart which was shared on Search Engine Land (article by Matt McGee). According to the chart, on March 2012 Blekko had 3.71 million unique visitors, more than 2.3 as much as just a few months back on December 2011!
So far in April (two weeks into the month) Blekko already standing at 5.33 million unique visitors on its way for a monstrous month…. Matt McGee also added another traffic chart, this time from comScore, which shows similar data to Hitwise and Compete (about 1.5-1.6 million unique monthly visitors in March).
The gap between Blekko’s internal data to all others is caused mostly because all external research tools are collecting the information JUST from the U.S. while Blekko’s internal data obviously includes ALL traffic.
The probably-very-happy Rich Skrenta shared his explanations about Blekko traffic explosion this year:
- Improved Algorithm- As I stated before, the major interface upgrade on December 2011.
- Users’ discontent from Google’s search results.
- Partners- Blekko partnered up lately with 1-800-Flowers and Lavasoft.
- Public appearances- Blekko tries to be visible on highly public events such as SXSW and Blogworld Expo.
- Yahoo Site Explorer Shut Down- Ever since Yahoo Site Explorer has been closed in November 2011, many are looking for SEO tools which Blekko has.
Although that those are pretty insightful points, at this point in time it doesn’t really matter anymore. If Blekko will continue to attract the same rate of visitors in the rest of April as in the first two weeks, it will reach for the 10 million unique visitors mark. And this is big. Huge. Enormous. Pinterest.