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Google + Blogs

This involves Google and blogs, so of course I'm obligated to post: Google Blog Search.

Pros: 1) It's fast. 2) It's really fast. 3) It places a "References" link next to blog entries that are linked to by others. 4) You can get feeds of your search queries (ala IceRocket).

Cons: 1) I can't make heads or tails of their relevance. 2) Their index isn't impressive yet (both in depth and recency). 3) It's pretty easy to get a spam blog or two in the top search results page.

Relevance is a difficult issue. When I search for 'jython' do I want a blog about Jython-related issues, or do I want a recent blog entries mentioning Jython. They try to offer both by having a short list of "related blogs" at the top of each search result listing, but it's far from perfect: I get bp's comment feed instead of his main blog when I search for 'bp.'

You can get off-results even for very prominent blogs. I searched for Scoble, author of "the scobelizer weblog." Presumably, someone who is #30 on Technorati's Top 100 with 6,087 links from 4,003 sites be an easy search result. For related blogs, Google returns "Alex Scoble's IT Notes" (a different Scoble). The top result in the main list of results is "the scobelizer weblog," but the URL listed beneath it is http://www.velveetaland.com, which is a blog that links to Scoble. I get similar problems if I search for "John Gruber" (author of Daring Fireball, #76 on Technorati's list).

Of course, a normal Google result for either Scoble or John Gruber gives the desired result.

Sites like Technorati are all but unusable because of slowness and frequent database outages, so speed is IMHO the competitive advantage here. It's hard to care about feature XYZ when it only works 50% of the time and takes 30 seconds to complete.

BTW: My favorite blog search is still Bloglines. It's slow, and it does have frequent outages, but lets you exclude your subscriptions from the search results and it contains a very broad index. I'm also a fan of IceRocket, which has RSS search subscriptions and tends to catch tons of people who link to my mythbusters entries. It's also pretty zippy, though not Google zippy.

Comments (2)

Heh, yeah, it's nice to be on top of my brother on Google for once.

Probably has more to do with the fact that I have my name in the title of the blog versus the word Scobleizer. Google weighs heavily in favor of words in a page title.

It is interesting to note, however, that I didn't see any of my blog postings listed below, but then I probably don't have any postings that come close to the juice Robert gets for most of what he says.

kwc:

agreed -- google has no problem finding my blog, presumably because my handle is unaltered in the title as well. Nevertheless, strange that your brother doesn't even show up in the 'related blogs' list whatsover.

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on September 14, 2005 7:59 PM.

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