I wrote about Zeekly the other day and I got a very nice response from Jeffrey Sisk, their CEO. It's a really thorough response to my comments, and rather than add it as an edit, I thought it was worthy of repeating in full. Take it away Jeffrey:
"We appreciate the review you did recently on your blog of Zeekly.com.
Especially being a new site, we are searching the web reading what is
out there, and that includes reviews. We've had mostly good ones, but we
learn the most from the bad ones. I found yours personally very
interesting & informative. We have made a few updates, etc because
of your blog post. Zeekly is a work in progress, but our goal is a
terrific search engine that protects privacy.
First of all, we have included in the search results now the origin of the link. We had left this off to have a cleaner page (and we are getting ready to mix in results from our own proprietary web spider zeeklybot), but you made a valid point, and I think you should know where each result comes from. We tried to make it unobtrusive (gray) but it is there now.
Regarding results... These are the top results of the top search engines mixed together (it finds similar links and groups them as you can see now, and if there are no groups it mixes the results in the order it pulls them. The goal hear (or the expectation) is that users from each of these engines who want privacy on Zeekly will be able to find results they are used to getting from the one they were previously using. As we mix in our own results over the next few weeks, we expect these search results to get better, and we want to improve on what you are getting from the top 3. I think you'd agree there is room for improvement. We are experimenting with zeeklybot to achieve this goal before adding to our results (and by the way, in contrast to other "privacy" search engines out there, we are building our own web indexes on hypertable/hadoop just like google). i.e. we are a "real" search engine.. not just a meta engine. At any rate, if some of these results are not impressive presently, they are coming straight from the big 3, so my assumption is that you aren't impressed with them, either (and neither am I for the record which is where zeeklybot will come in.. I am very passionate about providing better search results, and we will get there).
Adult content: We are very disappointed by the adult filtering provided by google, yahoo and bing's API interfaces. It just doesn't work very well. This will be a tougher issue to address, but we are working on a solution. We have complete control over our own spidering technology, but as stated, these results are coming straight from the other engines, so we are going to have to figure out a mechanism to filter their results if we want to offer a true adult filter on our site. This is very frustrating to us, and a leading issue on the table.
I don't think we have any search engines right now that care about users or their privacy. I realize we are new and will need to refine Zeekly as we go along, but certainly we have the right motivations. Additionally, webmasters have traditionally had a hard time especially with google who changes algorithms frequently for no reason and causes them a lot of trouble. In contrast, we want to build those relationships and help webmasters get the proper placement organically for their keywords. I truly this this has been a tactic by the big engines to get PPC advertisers. In the early days of the web, sites providing good info on subjects rose to the top. How funny this changed once sponsored advertising came along (I rest my case).
Almost forgot.... I have noticed (like you did) that one of the feeds from the "big three" isn't doing a good job with phrase search. Maybe with it being visible now in the search results where they are coming from, one of us can figure out who's interface is doing such a poor job with this. Once we do, I'll contact them and ask them to improve it."
So - take Zeekly for a test drive and see what you think!