Twingly, a new Europe-focused blog search engine which TechCrunch wrote about in January, has today entered private beta. You can sign up for an invitation on the home page, or go here for an instant invitation (the first 2,000 get in).
The pitch from them (they are also demo-ing at The Next Web)is that the engine has “no spam” search – in other words it only queries blogs that are known to Twingly to be genuine blogs, not owned by spammers. Ok, so you get fewer results because they have to check all the sources, but it does mean spam is virtually wiped out. So far Twingly has 450,000 approved blogs on the white list and is adding another 1,000 per day.
The smart thing is that they built this white list by starting with a small list of known blogs, and then spidering out to find the other legitimate blogs those linked to on the reasonable assumption that real bloggers don’t link to spam blogs.
Searches can be ranked by date (standard for blog search), number of inbound links (as Technorati ranks authority) or by TwinglyRank: “a combination of keyword relevancy, number of inlinks, number of user recommendations, publishing date and time and some secret sauce.” Users can also perform language specific searches in any of 29 supported languages (they track another 31, but not accurately enough to deploy yet).
Twingly also has a cool screen saver that displays blog posts on a world map as they are written based on their ping server (see here for our overview of what ping servers are) and existing index of blogs.
Founder Martin Källström says they plan to also partner with news sites to show blog posts related to news content, something Sphere and Technorati have done in the past. Plus, Tingly will do revenue-sharing deals on additional page views. Content providers like it because it incentivises blogs to link to their content. Twingly has smartly not focused on the US market where Sphere etc play but Europe, meaning Källström already has 44 live with large European publishers, generating 100 m widget views per month.
The company has raised €1 million in a July 2007 round of financing from Servisen. They have seven employees. Look for a launch of their search engine in the next month or two.
It might also be noted that they are going to end up competing in some aspects with Wikio, the European news and blogs RSS aggregator which recently launched in the UK. Wikio does a lot of the things Twingly does but has 7 million unique users already.