Today Google launched their new BlogSearch service. Here’s the blurb:
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.
I’ve tried it out, and, frankly, it’s a bit crap. To pick a couple of search terms that regularly get people to this site, I searched for linen suit and Michelle Branch. Both of these terms finished in the top 5 on regular Google, but are nowhere to be found on Google’s Blog Search. Despite the site’s claims that results are sorted by relevance, they sure look to me like they’re sorted by date.
Let’s try a more practical example. A big fire is raging south of Vancouver. If I search for burns bog fire, I get pretty decent results. It seems to me, then, that Google Blog Search works best for time-sensitive stories. In the future, I could see Google just combining these searches under one app, and highlighting the up-to-the-minute results in a sidebar or something.
Apparently this search engine only searches RSS feeds, like Feedster. This approach has advantages–timely results–and disadvantages–missed content on blogs without RSS feed, or content that’s not included in RSS feeds (comments or full stories, for example).
Here’s a quick round-up of what other people think:
- Dana – ” I did some searching this morning and found a few of my favorite Movable Type blogs that would normallly turn up in Technorati to be absent from the Google results.”
- Boris – “This current release is decidedly uninteresting — the results aren’t that great. I do like the hinted-at capabilities of the advanced blog search page, but PubSub’s boolean operators are already as powerful or more so.”
- Mark – “While Google Blog Search keeps Google’s clean, no-frills look, it does not have – at least not yet – the bells and whistles that make Technorati and Ice Rocket so interesting.”
- Om – “This is a move that preempts Yahooâ€™s pending launch of RSS Search, which is supposed to come sometime before the end of the month.”