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Blekko's Launch Rocked: 10 Thoughts

In case you hadn't read, blekko launched live to the public yesterday. Here are 10 reflections:

Rocket%20Launch%20%28slide%2021%29_jpg.jpg 1. The press still loves a good search engine launch. We got a ton of coverage. NYTimes, WSJ, AP, Reuters and pretty much everyone else.

2. Twitter rules. It really is the pulse of what's going on. Searching blekko on twitter (or on blekko) is the best way to get real time time feedback and gauging reaction.

3. Reaction has been overwhelmingly positive so far. Of course there are some haters out there, but whatever. You launch something new its easy for a few people to throw rocks at it. Lots more people seem to really like it. cool.

4. Hype is hard to manage. We have purposefully tried to UNDER-hype blekko. We've said we aren't a Google killer. Our publicly stated goal is to be the third search engine in a world of 2 search engines. Despite this, many people call us over hyped.

5. The little negative coverage we get comes in one of two buckets: (a) we're over hyped or (b) it's impossible to carve a slice of the search business (they wrap this argument in more link-bait-y headlines though). To the first, I can't imagine any start-up would turn down this kind of coverage for their site, so not sure why that is a negative (especially when it comes from marketing types!). The latter is something we obviously disagree with.

6. Note whats missing on #5: no one is saying the search engine sucks. People like everything we're doing. That's cool.

7. Nothing says product feedback like actual usage. We are already hearing great feedback from users and making changes. This thing is only going to get better.

8. The dust will settle soon. After launch, we will have a group of people who are using the site regularly. Maybe they really like our results, maybe they downloaded the toolbar, maybe they made us their home page, maybe they like a particular slashtag or maybe they like our data. All good reasons to come back. Point it, once the dust does settle we'll be focused on growth -but start with a good base. Next up: deals, marketing efforts, feature releases, etc. - the march up the hill begins.

9. BIG THANKS to everyone who gave blekko a try. Hopefully you like what we're doing and will keep coming back.

10. If you've made it this far, you deserve a free tshirt!! They're cool. Drop us a note with your address to shirt at blekko dot com with your address and we will send you one.

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Comments (4)

Unfortunately, PR driven traffic is not sustainable. I've seen this personally with two search engine launches. Also unfortunately, any search for "how to market a search engine" yields 10 million hits for search engine marketing techniques. The unsolved challenge for new horizontal search engines is to build a trusted search engine brand. The actual quality of your product is basically irrelevant. Good luck!

mike:

PR traffic is just one aspect of our overal marketing strategy. We launched and we did so with PR. Step 1 complete. Now on to steps 2 through n.

And I disagree that quality of product is irrelevant. You only get to execute on the rest of your plan if you survive day 1. You only survive day 1 if your product is decent.

Congratulations to Blekko! New ways of doing things in the search engines' world are always welcomed and appreciated. I really like the /SEO slashtag. Keep up the good work!

P.S Do you ship shirts to Canada? ;-)

mike:

thanks! we do indeed - just email your address to shirt at blekko dot com.

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