writes "With content mills like Associated Content and Demand Media joining forces with spammers and marketers to manipulate Google's page-ranking systems, laments Vivek Wadhwa, we're fighting a losing battle for the web and need alternative ways of finding the information that we need. Search startup Blekko, notes Wadhwa, aims to clean up the spam and clutter. In addition to providing regular search a la Google, Blekko allows you to define what it calls 'slashtags' — mostly human-curated sets of websites built around a specific topic — to filter the information you retrieve. So if you're looking for info about swine flu, you can add '/health' to your query to search only the top 70 or so relevant health sites rather than tens of thousands of spam sites. Blekko also takes a stab at chronological searches, allowing you to add the slashtag “/date” to the end of a query to retrieve info based on the date on which it was actually created. Always good to see some competition for the big search dogs — hopefully, Blekko will fare better than Cuil (RIP)."