Up-and-coming search provider Blekko earned itself a few internet karma points this week by making a donation to Common Crawl, a not-for-profit organization that makes search ranking data freely available to anyone with the resources to tap into it.
The startup gave away processed (spam free) information about 140 million websites and 22 billion webpages in an act of generosity that, in this context, could rightfully be considered a lot more than substantial than a monetary contribution.
The task of transferring all this data was carried out by Blekko’s API; the same one used by Flipboard to scour the web for content that matches its users’ preferences.
Blekko founder and CTO Greg Lindahl blogged the update yesterday morning and expressed his company’s perspective:
“We’re putting our full-fledged support behind Common Crawl’s crawl and mission with this donation. We’re not doing this because it makes us feel good (OK, it makes us feel a little good), or because it makes us look good (OK, it makes us look a little good), we’re helping Common Crawl because Common Crawl is taking strides towards our shared vision of an open and transparent Internet.”
Blekko actually has a bill of rights that outlines this agenda.
The company has had some success since launching its service on November 2010. There’s a Mozilla-sponsored Blekko toolbar for Firefox, for one, and its lists Yandex, PivotNorth and USVP among its investors.
Transparency is a big deal as far as search goes, a fact Google has had the chance to experienc first-hand on multiple occasions. We reported this morning that the company is rumored to be negotiating a settlement agreement with officials over the implementations of new features that will offer its competitors more breathing room to attract advertisers.