Google Launches Blogsearch

Google has put out a blog search engine. Despite the fact that people have been clamoring for this for months, it may surprise you to realize that this makes Google the first to market with a homegrown blog search of any major search engine.

Blog Search is Google search technology focused on blogs. 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.

Google Blog Search is, like Google, as sparse as it gets. Just a search box. The advanced search page opens up a few more options, including searching by author, post title, blog title or post date.

You can subscribe to search results, via a link at the bottom of the SERP page. In as sign that Google is lossening up on Atom, you can subscribe via RSS or Atom, with feeds with 10 or 100 results.

There are several ways to get to Blog Search, beyond just memorizing the google.com/blogsearch URL. You can go to:

Definitely a smart way of getting the blog search out there. The search.blogger.com URL is far easier for most people to remember, and the interface is more friendly and fitting when compared with Technorati. The Blogger version also gives you the advanced search option right there on the front page, via a “Use search options” link that reveals more options.

The Blogger interface reveals better the link: command, giving you who’s linking to a particular blog or blog post. Don’t worry, the Google interface supports it as well.

The advanced search operators are:

  • link:
  • site:
  • intitle:
  • inblogtitle:
  • inposttitle:
  • inpostauthor:
  • blogurl:

Google’s FAQ says it uses standard ping services and RSS to get posts, and that it has been crawling since June. They plan to add a form to add blogs not being indexed, and a method to add older posts as well. Blog Search does respect robots.txt.

Blog Search lists relevant blogs above the results when they are relevant enough above the search results (which only link to posts). This can be telling, as it rewards the older and more popular blogs (i.e. the ones with top PageRank), and not the more recently popular ones. Which is why you see the Google BlogSpace blog at the top (along with Blogoscoped and Google’s blog), but not this one.

Some searches turn up near-perfect blog results, like Netflix, while others are lacking, like Microsoft (which should at least have Scoble or Paul Thurrott in addition). I love that there are so many results for this query.

All in all, a good offering, although not as fun-loving as Technorati. On the other hand, it isn’t as buggy as Technorati, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it wins a lot of converts (if not all of them). We’ve been begging for a good blog search engine, and this might be it.

One problem I have with it: All the links are Google redirect links. Now, this is only going to make things more difficult for bloggers using the search engine, as we have to hack off the ends of URLs to post them. How about finding a way to do link tracking that doesn’t involve sticking http://www.google.com/url?sa= at the beginning of everything?

So, the final word: There are quite a few blog search engines out there, none of them from Yahoo or MSN, and for the most part, they all have massive flaws that render them near-useless. Google blog search, while very green and less fun, “just works”, and that could mean stealing a lot of people away from the other services.

The only thing Technorati and the others have going for them right now are advanced features, like blog profiles, rankings, tagging and the like. Many people will stick with their inferior engines just for that reason, although most will likely switch. If Google does the smart thing and realizes that blog search isn’t about search, but about tracking conversations, and develops Google blog search accordingly, then there are a lot of small websites that just aren’t going to make it.

I’m already envisioning the perfect feature for Google Blog Search: a conversation tracker, one that arranges back-and-forth posts in a conversation view not unlike Gmail’s. Basically, that you could click on any post, anywhere, and follow the conversation from that backwards and forwards in a threaded view simply derived from the links traveling between blogs. If Google were to implement a feature like that, they win.

Where’s Yahoo and MSN? They’re probably almost ready to launch their engines (several bloggers already saw Yahoo’s). I’m sure their blog search will be pretty good, too, but they must be kicking themselves for getting beat to market by Google.
(via Steve Rubel)

UPDATE Google Blog post:
Posted on: Thu, Sep 8 2005 1:58 PM | Updated: Wed, Sep 14 2005 8:24 AM

Posted:
September 14, 2005 by Nathan Weinberg in:

9 Responses to “Google Launches Blogsearch”

  1. Search Engine Watch Blog Says:

    Roundup Of Google Blog Search Commentary

    Below, a roundup of bloggers and others talking about the new Google Blog Search service that’s been launched. For more background on the service, see our Google Launches Industrial Strength Blog Search and Thoughts On & Poking At Google Blog Sear…

  2. Uwe Hermann Says:

    Google Blog Search

    Looks like Google has finally launched Google Blog Search. Unlike Technorati, it’s quite fast and could be serious competition (at least in some fields). There’s a FAQ, which answers a few questions regarding the search.
    A very nice feature, IMHO, is…

  3. Jon Piscitell Says:

    The material handling industries first interactive blog.

  4. Samuel D Says:

    That option you require (conversation tracker) of posts looks to be already included in Blogpulse, if I’m not mistaken.

  5. Scott Kingery Says:

    This looks cool. You could build links into your blog software that put http:blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?as_q=link:{blogpost url}&scoring=d at the end of a post to make searching quick. What I’d really like is something that I could includ that says “3 links” so people know before they search. Ice Rocket has this but it doesn’t work well.

  6. Dr.Subrahmanyam Karuturi » Google launch Blog search Says:

    […] Google Blos search with Blogger interface Googgle Blog Search FAQ’s [via BNC] Permalink […]

  7. Didier DURAND Says:

    The redirect issue that you mention will be soon fixed

    check the announcement on Blogger Buzz http://buzz.blogger.com/2005/09/blog-search-redirects-and-indexing.html

  8. » Google Blog Search Redirects Going Away  InsideGoogle » part of the Blog News Channel Says:

    […] Blogger Buzz posts that the redirects I didn’t like in Google Blog Search are going away. In fact, they were never supposed to be there. The redirects were there to keep Blog Search a secret during testing. Sadly, this wasn’t part of an overly clever click-harvesting scheme. We had the redirects in place during testing to prevent referrer-leaking and simply didn’t remove them prior to launch. But they should be gone in the next 24 hours … which will have the advantage of improving click-through time. Posted: September 15, 2005 by Nathan Weinberg in: […]

  9. Nathan Weinberg Says:

    Yeah, I posted about it last night. Check the trackback, but thanks.

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