(Mashable) -- Blekko's alternative search engine -- a $24 million venture-backed project that's been three years in the making -- is today launching its public beta.
With the official rollout, Blekko is also releasing several new features designed for both mainstream and the site's super users.
As you may recall, Blekko is designed to eliminate spam search results, allowing users to search just a subset of the web through its proprietary slashtag technology.
The most significant upgrade to Blekko's search engine is the addition of slashtags that auto-fire for queries that fall into one seven categories: health, colleges, autos, personal finance, lyrics, recipes and hotels.
Every time a Blekko user's query is determined to be in one of these categories, Blekko will automatically append the associated slashtag to the query and limit results to just the subset of URLs that fall under that slashtag.
The auto-fire functionality is designed with passive searchers in mind, and aims to eliminate friction for first time users. The technology that powers these auto-slashtags was developed through an extensive research and development phase that involved analyzing the relationship between queries and the type of spam results they typically generate.
News 5 years ago