Blekko has launched a new verison of their search engined called "Zorro," which comes with increased search relevance substantially by auto-including some 1,000 slash tags, up from just a handful previously. That means that for many results you're looking at hand picked sites that are known to have high quality content. Content farms just can't get through slashtags.
Search for "pregnancy tips" and you'll see to slash tags, for /pregnancy and /health, and quite good results compared to Google. But on Blekko you're not done. Click on one of those slash tags to drill down into results relevant to that tag. Answer relevance goes even higher. On Google you'd have to visit the next page of results, or rephrase your query. Both are time consuming.
Zorro includes a new search index and automatic integration of the company's trademark "slashtags" into top categories.
Also, there've been big improvements visually. Gone are the red links of previous the version along with most of the left sidebar clutter. In fact, that left sidebar is gone and has been replaced with small icons next to search results to tell you what site they're from at a glance.
Most people who use Blekko don't take advantage of the slashtag creation capability, but CEO Rich Skrenta and company have been trying make them available to Blekko users at large. The Zorro update means that slashtag-related results will now automatically appear at or near the top of a wide range of SERPs.
According to Skrenta these categories are now essentially spam-free because humans have identified high quality sites and Blekko has marginalized or entirely blocked spam and low-quality content (e.g., eHow) from results.
There're minor changes as well, such as the inclusion of site and publisher logos next to results to enable users to quickly identify desired or credible sources.
Blekko has launched a tool that shows results for any give query across Blekko, Bing and Google -- with or without the identity of the engine exposed. Here's an example result (before and after) for "ldquo;cheap Mexico vacations".
Using this tool is interesting because it exposes instances where Blekko offers superior results, but also cases in which that's not true. Blekko will also show results on Google and Bing that it has "banned."