Google Web History, which tracks all your past searches so you can re-find something you already searched for, has now added Google Blogsearch, bringing the total number of services they cover to ten:
- Sponsored Links
The history for Blog Search doesn’t go back far, if at all, since I have no indexed Blog queries among all my 18,000+ searches that Web History has saved.
I was looking at my personal search Trends in Web History, and take a look at the bar graphs:
Can you believe that? I’m working just as much at 2 am as I am the entire rest of the day! And half the time, I get four or five hours of sleep? And my only real break comes around 9pm, probably when me favorite shows are on?
Oy. I wonder what everyone else’s personal trends are like. If you want, link to screenshots of them in the comments or email them to me, and we can compare them here.
UPDATE: Two readers have sent in their Web Trends. Take a look:
Looks like Haochi does a huge amount of surfacing in the late afternoons and gets a healthy amount of sleep, and Robert gets less sleep then me most nights!
Google is now reporting how many of its users are subscribed to website’s feeds, by including the subscriber info in the header its Feedfetcher spider leaves when it grabs a feed. This means that if you look at the header, you’ll know how many users combined subscribe to that feed in Google Reader and the Google Personalized Homepage. With Bloglines, Yahoo and Google all reporting counts in an easy way, you can now get a really good idea at a glance how many feed subscribers you have.
Thanks to Google’s move, Feedburner users all across the web (who get the best automated and detailed feed statistics of anyone) are reporting huge jumps in subscriber counts. Yeah, turns out that Google’s Feedfetcher may very well be, in total, the biggest player in the RSS feed subscription game. Darren Rowse had 30% of his subscribers from old #1 Bloglines, now he has 39% from new number one Google and 17% from number two Bloglines.
Also, Randy Morin did a survey of blog search users, finding out that Google Blog Search is the favored blog search engine. Twice as many respondents listed Google as their favorite search over Technorati, showing how easily Google has taken over that market, just as it is muscling its way into RSS readers with a great product.
Hitwise has some info on how Google Base and Google Checkout are doing, with Checkout doing considerably better. While Google has just been burning cash to get users on Checkout, they haven’t really promoted Base at all, and a rumored replacement of Froogle with Base has still not happened. Base’s market share has actually declined over the last half-year.
Google has added to its Alert service the ability to receive alerts from Blog Search. Now, you can add the latest blogs to mention your name or company, or link to your blog, to your email alerts. Of course, getting RSS alerts is a more recommended tactic, but far more people are still using email for this stuff, so it’s a good addition. I suspect you could replace many subscribe-to-RSS-via-email services with this.
Steve Rubel noticed that Google News now includes a link to Google Blogsearch. I’ve wanted many times to use Blogsearch, but the URL is ridiculous (blogsearch.google.com). Couldn’t Google buy a decent URL? The link is nice, but think of how to get there:
- Option 1: type blogsearch.google.com, a 21-character URL
- Option 2: type google.com
- Click “News”
- Click “Blog search”
Consider that Google Blogsearch’s competitors, all of which have less-than-perfect URLs, are still shorter and easier. Technorati.com. Bloglines.com. Icerocket.com. Feedster.com. Even ask.com/blogsearch is shorter. What really annoys me is that the Blog Search link on News isn’t dynamic, like the other Google tabs, that you could type something in Google.com, click the News then Blog Search link and the search term would carry over. Also, the link doesn’t appear on Google News results pages.
Still, Blog Search is pretty good, and deserves the better positioning. I’d be even happier if it were in the “More” box on Google.com, but it’s a start.
Daily Kos founder Markos Zuniga says “Google News is becoming unusable”, and has asked that Kos be removed as a source.
A “news” operation needs to present news, and credible news at that. That means get rid of the blogs (mostly opinion), get rid of the no-name sites, the conspiracy sites, and the rest of that crap.
I have no idea about the quality of Google News, if only because it was surpassed long ago by RSS readers, memetrackers, and proper personalized sites like Findory. However, I have noticed a lot of stories about bad sources making it into News in the last half-year, which would indicate that there have been some weakening of Google’s inclusion criteria.
From Elinor Mills:
The criteria for evaluating sources for Google News includes: regular updates to the posted content; the source is an organization and not an individual; the content does not include hate speech or pornography; and the source conducts editorial reviews of the content, [Google spokeswoman Sonya] Boralv said. In addition, the source’s Web site needs to be “technically conducive to inclusion,” she said.
Why doesn’t Google take advantage of all the data being indexed by Google Blogsearch to determine which sources are credible? After all, at the higher levels, the top-linked sources are almost always legitimate (the British media notwithstanding).
Google announced on their blog that Google Blogsearch now has a pinging service, letting bloggers and other RSS platforms ping them when they update and/or post something new. If you run a pinging service, be sure to check out the FAQ, and if you write a blog, make sure your pinging service supports Google Blogsearch. A good add.
Here’s some more stories, all lumped together in a single place:
Google Blog Search has an altered interface, with a sidebar containing a lot of the drilldown options (see it here). You can click several links to change the duration you are searching within and select RSS feeds of the current search. Considering most users never touch the advanced search page, this is a pretty decent idea, one Google might want to try on more properties. Google News already has a sidebar, so why not add it there?
Google Video also got a slight interface change to go with the new web-based uploading. Much cleaner.
GTalk Profile is a great site, where users of Google Talk submit a little info on themselves, including their location. All the users get plotted out on a Google Map, so you can get an idea of how many there are out there, and, once registered, contact them. Thus far, 1749 users have signed up.
(hat-tip from Jason)
Snap.com relaunched with a new interface that blurs the lines between organic and paid search listings. What is truly interesting is their anti-spam measure; John Battelle explains that they’ve licensed the clickstream data of some ISPs to remove spam, reasoning that spam websites don’t get a lot of visitors. Brilliant idea, with one big problem: As long as those spam sites do well on Google, they’ll get as many, if not more, visitors than a legitimate site.
Some SEOs did a Matt Cutts rap song. Damn, Matt is cooler as a geek than a rapper.
Use Google Image Ripper to get straight to the images in a Google Image search, skiping the thumbnails and interim pages. This violates so many lawsuits that Google will eventually shut it down, but for now, it’s been disabled due to bandwidth issues (thanks, Digg!)
Continuing the catching up bandwagon (six posts so far, and I’ve actually lost ground!), this time I’ll look at what’s new.
First off, Google just (and I mean just launched Google Finance. Finance is barely a search engine, focusing far more on content, namely stock market stats and aggregated information. The Finance page for a company contains a Flash (not AJAX! The horror!) stock chart, where you can drag a slider to select date ranges and run the mouse over to see instantly changing stats. There are news articles to the right of the chart, and they are based on the date range, changing when the range changes and being mapped out, Google Maps style, on the chart.
Above the chart is lots of basic numbers. Below it are company facts (profit, revenues, address and phone number), a Reuters company summary, excerpts from financial reports, a management list, related companies, links to other financial sites, blog posts from Blog Search and Google Group posts. Rolling over management names reveals an AJAX (whew!) popout that has a photo and links to the person’s bio, compensation and stock sales.
You can add any stock to your “portfolio”, which means you see headlines and quotes on the Finance homepage. You can also go to your portfolio page, enter how many shares you own and what you paid for them, and track your earnings (or losses). Yeah, how many people are giving up their stock portfolios to Google? God, they really are obsessed with getting your information.
Google also released version 126.96.36.199 of the Google Video Player. It includes clickable preview frames, optimizations, proper menu shortcuts, improved login, fixed audio stuttering, better error handling and a more polished GUI.
Google Video now has a full-length indie flick for $14.99, or $1.99 for a day pass. Increase the day pass by a few days, drop the buy option to $10-12, and you’ve hit the perfect spot for movie downloads.
Turns out AdWords has been adding some great features I never noticed, including ad keyword popularity graphs, generating keywords based on your content pages, global traffic trends in search volume (for the last twelve months, including the peak season).
There’s a cool bookmarklet for adding bookmarks to your Google Account.
Follow this guide to make red/blue 3D images, for use with 3D goggles. Why am I mentioning this? Because a Digger used this method to create 3D Google Earth landscapes. Nice!
AdSenseBlackList.com has a generator that gives you a list of sites you should be blacklisting for AdSense, so called MFA sites. MFA is the popular acronym for “Made For AdSense” sites that provide zero content of any use, and buy really cheap AdSense ads to get people to visit.
Turns out Adam Bosworth is working at something called Google Health, probably designed to target the health care industry. They stole my idea! I told some people at Search Champs that MSN should start a search engine to work through the clutter and provide accurate, up-to-date medical information. The elderly could use it to find the prescription drug plan that would be right for them, an impossibility in the current industry. The site could make money through comissions from mega-billions drug companies, instead of advertising (or both). I hope, for the sake of all the confused folks out there, that it is what Google is up to.
31 tabs open, 1434 Bloglines items to go…
Two months ago, Randy wrote a comprehensive blog entry on the State of Blogosphere Search. Since he wrote that article, he has noticed a considerable decline in the quality of results returned by the blogosphere search engines and wanted to update everybody on what he’s seeing.
Overall, the blogosphere ping has improved and the improvements lie with FeedBurner and Google blog search. Everybody else has stagnated. On the downside, 75% of all blogosphere pings are now spings (a.k.a. pings from splogs). Which brings us to our second topic; splogs.
I’ve noticed a considerable improvement at PubSub and Technorati which were splog infested two months ago. Now the results compare with the rest of the industry. Google blog search, IceRocket and BlogPulse, which were already good at handling splogs, are now even better. Blogdigger also seems to return few splogs.
Also check out his summary of who’s best at blogosphere search.
David Sifry of Technorati proudly posts that their infrastructure improvement are really starting to pay off. Technorati’s search speed has been cut more than in half in just the last month, with response times nearly identical to those of Google and Yahoo’s blog search. This graph shows how things have improved (notice Blogdigger is the slowest and that Icerocket has been very erratic).
Other stats he gives:
Technorati’s index is the most comprehensive, and has the fastest updates. The index is over 3 years old, currently tracks over 21.5 million blogs, over 280 million unique posts and over 1.7 billion links are indexed. We are tracking over 60,000 new blogs each day, and over 700,000 new posts per day. Our median time to index is now under 3 minutes from the moment a blog post is created.
Considering how much flak Technorati has taken this year, Sifry and everyone at T’rati should be quite proud and bragging everywhere. They’ve really done a great job, and if performance stays stable, they can get back to making the service even better.
If you want to add a search box for Google’s Blogsearch to your blog, so users can search your blog, Cyclelicious has whipped together a script that does exactly that. It’s based on the code used in Blogger’s nav bar.
< form id="b-search" name="b-search" action="http://search.blogger.com/" >< input type="text" id="b-query" name="as_q" / >< input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" / >< input type="hidden" name="bl_url" value="http://google.blognewschannel.com/" / >< input type="submit" name="Search" id="b-searchbtn" value="Search InsideGoogle" onclick="document.forms['b-search'].bl_url.value='http://google.blognewschannel.com/'" / >
< /form >
You might want to replace my blog in the code with your own, but if you don’t, I won’t mind…
Randy Charles Morin has a good find: Googlers Jason Shellen and Chris Wetherall did some brief podcasting in September, mostly on Google Blogsearch. The Odeo channel is here. Its nothing revolutionary, but it certainly is fun to listen to. There were three shows (plus the obligatory “test” show, consisting of only the word “test”) before they just stopped posting.
Why’d you guys stop! I’ll sponsor the show if you want to pick it up (I’ll pay five dollars more than the cost of a meal in the Google cafeteria).