Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Google Blog Search

Google released their own blog search tool. It seems that whatever site has an RSS or Atom feed is considered to be a blog. (If you’re a blog owner and you don’t see your blog included, note that Google promises to soon make a manual submission form available.) Google says:

“Google is a strong believer in the self-publishing phenomenon represented by blogging, and we hope Blog Search will help our users to explore the blogging universe more effectively, and perhaps inspire many to join the revolution themselves. Whether you’re looking for Harry Potter reviews, political commentary, summer salad recipes or anything else, Blog Search enables you to find out what people are saying on any subject of your choice.

Your results include all blogs, not just those published through Blogger; our blog index is continually updated, so you’ll always get the most accurate and up-to-date results; and you can search not just for blogs written in English, but in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese and other languages as well.”

So how well does it work? In true Google fashion, there’s not much in terms of fanciness; the Google Blog Search homepage looks just like the Google homepage, and blog results look similar to web search results, except that you will see when a post was published, and you can order posts by date; also, at the bottom of each result page, you will find a link to subscribe to the RSS or Atom feed for the search. This simplicity is what most people may be looking for, too, especially when the service has the scope, stability and speed of a Google product. Google Blog Search already beats competitors Technorati and others in terms of speed. I can’t tell for certain whether Google manages to find more results, but a brief check make me suspect they do (I’ll appreciate your findings in this regard).

For blog authors, a blog search service of special interest is to find backlinks to their articles so they get a feeling of the discussion going on in blogosphere. To allow you to look up those backlinks, Google lets you use the [link:] operator. For example, you can enter [] to find links to this blog (when you omit the [link:] operator, Google will automatically append it). You can not only find links to domains, but to specific ppost on that domain too.

Added to the [link:] search operator, Google supports the following operators (the first two are supported in web search as well):

For example, the search query [Google inpostauthor:Nathan-Weinberg] will find posts by Nathan Weinberg of the Inside Google blog containing the word “Google.” The search [] on the other hand will return all recent posts from this blog. (Google at the moment finds 315 posts – in their blog search help, they state they index posts since around the middle of this year, but that they’re working on indexing older posts as well.)

Note that for some search queries, Google will suggest related blogs at the top of the result. For example, entering [google] will show Google Blogoscoped and the original Google Weblog. Entering [thai food] resulted, among another blog,

[Thanks Tony Ruscoe in the forum.]


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