Blekko Betrays Trust Blocks SEO Data And Shreds Transparency Policy

The company Blekko was something of an inspiration to me, and other SEO’s, as they stood for what they believed should be openly available. They freely shared the kind of data that SEO’s use frequently, which I often shared with other SEO’s, energetic website owners who didn’t need much data, but liked to learn a little as we worked on their sites.

I remember seeing some videos of the Blekko team getting interviewed, and although they were a small team it seemed they were passionate about the concept of keeping this kind of data open. That’s why this comes as a shock and a disappointment, and makes little to no sense in the way they rolled it out.

If you look at the paywall (image posted above), the one that’s supposed to be compelling and filled with reasons to pay $99/mo. and it’s nothing other than paypal button where they opted to skip the free trial option that paypal includes by default, which speaks to the planning that went into this.

Google’s cache shows the free trial but then they got greedy and must have quickly yanked it because no other blog has this image up.

First Blekko Offers Free Trial But Removes It?


There have been a few posts about it, one from Search Engine Land, this one by Jason McDonald shares some feedback on their marketing efforts.

It’s truly sad to see their touting of an open transparent search engine and reap the rewards from all the press, enlist the efforts of those who aligned with their goals, to then have them pull a 180 and offer zero explanation of what changed and why.

Blekko Has Some Major Explaining To Do Because This Is All BS

Took the liberty of amending their bill of rights.

Perhaps they had planned this from the get go, as in they would get everybody who was a believer in opening up and sharing data to see some of what was causing sites to outrank other sites, and they rode that until the traffic peaked and leveled off so they padlocked their data and started charging and shut off access to the ones who helped them spread the word, curate the results and build their traffic.

Here's The About Page, Needs Some Edits Too!

So I hope to see some sort of explanation because this isn’t really how you convert free users to paid users.  Right now, the free users are in shock and would likely burn $99/mo. than pay for something that you said should be free to everyone.

“Blekko makes freely available to its users all of the data that provide the underpinning of our search results.”

Here’s an image from a blog post about their recent traffic growth need some of editing in light of current news, note that they contribute savvy marketing which I’m curious to think of the frame of mind someone has to be in to call their marketing savvy.

Anyone whose written about Blekko might need to help them with an edit or two.

Blekko Has Changed Their Mind So Deal With It

That’s what they seem to be saying, to all who might have been a bit surprised on a recent visit to the site.  Maybe they felt SEO’s were using them, getting away with the data like little data junkies who can’t pass up free data so they decided why not make some pizza money for the office and told an intern to figure how that Paypal widget works.

What Can You Charge For That Used To Be Free

Unfortunately, when you take what you used to give out for free and try to charge for it, usually doesn’t hold up.  There are some examples in this post titled “If a paywall is your only strategy, then you are doomed” via Gigaom.  Food for thought.  Be interesting if they can avoid that fate, but right now I don’t see anyone getting through to the captain whose clearly not following their original course.

TheDealerBlog is the official blog for TuneyFish Inc., an online marketing firm which specializes in search for auto dealers, founded by +Scott Golembiewski in 2008.

Posted in SEO

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