A Site Worth Seeing: Blackle.com

Who was the 31st president of the United States of America? Don’t know? Google it! Well actually, you might want to try “Blackling” it instead. Blacke.com is an environmentally friendly version of the popular search engine based in Mountain View.

Created in response to an early 2007 blog post, Blackle.com was made to save energy. It’s a Google Custom Search Engine, where you can search through any specified sites you like, but instead of having a white background and black text, it displays a black one with white text.

The Google search engine gets about 200 million hits in one day; and that uses approximately 550,000 kilowatt hours a day on the world’s desktops. Blackle’s goal is to use less energy by not forcing computer monitors to produce the excess energy needed for a white screen. If everyone used Blackle instead of Google, they would save 8.3 kilowatt hours per day. It seems small but the amount conserved would save about $75,000 per year.

And even though Blackle is run off of the California-based search engine, that does not limit it to American run sites and English only texts. “Blackle in your country” is a portion of the site that allows searches in 14 different countries and 6 different languages.

In this age of technology and environmentally-friendly ideas, Blackle seems like something that everyone should know. So, why haven’t you heard about it? When tested, both sites—Google and Blackle—proved what lay beneath their opposing backgrounds. Here are the test results:

Search item: Napoleon Bonaparte.

Google results: 0.11 seconds to find 311,000 results.

Blackle results: 0.42 second to find an unknown number of results. The site wouldn’t reveal how many results it had, wouldn’t allow a search for images of Napoleon, translate his quotes into other languages or go directly to the first web page hit.

Other sites like Blackle have surfaced over the past year also, with names like Darkoogle, Google Black, Ninja and Jabago. Information for how much energy these site save themselves is not available, but the end product to the user is relatively the same compared to Blackle.

Overall, this invented stress test revealed that Blackle may be energy-conscious, which is a great ambition to be sure, but when compared to the mother of all search engines, it just doesn’t match up.