Google’s Matt Cutts used a new webmaster video to share his thoughts about alternative search engines Blekko and DuckDuckGo. Long story short, he thinks you should check them out, and see what you like and don’t like about them.
The discussion was spurred by a question submitted to him, asking what he thinks about Blekko. “In general, I love when new search engines launch,” he says. “It’s always cool to run a few queries, and see how do they score things differently than we would score things.”
“I think it’s fantastic to have a lot of competition,” he says. “I think it’s good for users, as long as people are competing on a level or fair playing ground.”
I can hear the critics of Google’s own competitive practices getting ready to chime in already.
On Blekko’s slashtag strategy, Cutts says, “It’s unclear it will catch on, because it is some amount of work to build those individual restricts or groups or collections, but they do a relatively good job of showing auto complete, and sort of suggesting tags you might want to add.”
“I love when new search engines launch. I think competition is great,” he reiterates. “It keeps us on our toes. It makes sure that we’re doing the right things. I highly encourage people to check out both Blekko and DuckDuckGo. See what you like, see what you don’t like. Certainly with power users, it will certainly have some amount of appeal, and then time will tell.”
“The wonderful thing is that everyone has different philosophies about how to improve search, and how to make search better,” he adds. “So this is another company trying out their idea – their philosophy, and we’ll just see how well it works.”
Below are a couple of interviews we did earlier this year with Blekko co-founder and CEO Rich Skrenta and DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg about their search engines. They give you an idea of their search philosophies:
Last week, Blekko announced some new privacy features, such as a new 48-hour data retention policy. Some users will like that either way.