google blog search - still a long way to go 09.14.2005, 5:01 PM
posted by ben vershbow
Google's new blog search engine reminds me of how far we still have to go with blog search. The engine works much the same way as Google's general web search - with keywords and page ranking - only here it's searching RSS feeds. Recent posts with keyword matches fill the column, and a few links to related blogs come up at the top. But there's the rub. These so-called "related" blogs are only related by direct keyword matches in their title tagline. I just searched "poetry" and came up with only three related blogs. C'mon. A search for "gossip" turns up only one related blog - "Starbucks Gossip". There has to be some kind of promotion going on here, though their "about" page mentions nothing of the kind.
A good engine would be capable of searching blogs by their subject, their preoccupation, their obsession. Many blogs could be considered "general," but just as many have a special focus, and readers are often searching with a particular theme in mind. They don't just want a list of transient posts, but whole sites that might potentially become regular destinations. Many blogs are valuable publications that prove themselves day after day. But blog search hasn't yet grown beyond the trendy "what's the latest chatter on the blogosphere" mode.
I do have to give credit to Technorati. Glitchy as it is, they're trying to think of creative ways - tagging, author-determined keywords - to help readers find interesting blogs and authors their audience. Then again, my greatest finds have usually been from other blogs. Humans will always be the smartest aggregators.
People out there, what do you use?
garym on September 15, 2005 7:55 PM:
My fairly obscure "File Formats Blog" came up when I searched for "file formats", and I certainly haven't made any deals with Google to get it listed. So not all the "related blogs," if any, are promotional.
ben vershbow on September 16, 2005 12:08 AM:
Right, they didn't say anything about promotions. But it's weird that a search for "gossip" did not turn up "Gawker: Manhattan Media News and Gossip."