Blog Search Engines
I’m glad I’m not the only one who is greatly disappointed with the state of blog search tools. I use Technorati every day and I often have no idea what it’s telling me. Are the search results the most recent posts? Are they the posts that have the most links back to them? Are they from the most popular blogs? If so, how is that measured? I periodically check the “Technorati Rank” of The Average Joe and scratch my head. For example, although traffic on and links to The Average Joe have dropped a good deal since I reduced my posting frequency, the Technorati Rank has actually gone up. How could that be when there are so many new blogs being launched every day/week, ones which no doubt have higher traffic/link rates than The Average Joe?
OK, I’m sure all that information is buried somewhere in Technorati. There are probably also loads of ways to configure the search results. I really don’t care. I want something that’s as simple and reliable as Google. Here’s a better way of stating it: Why do I generally find what I’m looking for in the top 2 or 3 links in the Google results but I often have to sift through page after page of Technorati results before I find what I need?
The reason I say I’m not alone in this frustration is because of a BusinessWeek article entitled Looking for a Blog in a Haystack (registration required). The article notes that Jason Calacanis put a plea out to Google and Yahoo! to help on the blogging search front. Blogs are referred to as “the fastest growing segment of the web” and the posts “are perfect for the kind of targeted advertisements favored by search engines.”
I would love to see a Google search results page that had a separate area for blog results. Or, if you prefer to search blogs exclusively, why not have a Google subsite that’s dedicated to just that?
The article talks about the difficulties of blog searching and how the results should be sorted. Questions like these are asked: “Should it simply be the most recent? Or from a popular blogger? Or perhaps a blogger already bookmarked by the user, or even by those on the user’s buddy list?” I figure if Google gets involved, they’ll do it right and I won’t even have to ask those questions – as noted above, I’ll probably just find all the most important, relevant results at the top of the page.
I agree with Jason Calacanis: Google, Yahoo!, where are you?!
I would like to see the same thing from MSN. Feedster, IceRocket and Technorati all leave a lot to be desired.
Posted by: tod | July 26, 2005 at 07:17 PM
Hi Joe --
Yahoo! Search Marketing (Overture) rejected a *paid* Ad I created with the keyword "blog" for my blog because the keyword did not match the content (?!!) so you are quite right that blogs have no muscle with the search engine genies. I blogged that episode here:
And the follow-up appears here:
Posted by: David W. Boles | July 26, 2005 at 08:27 PM
Joe, please don't waste any more time at Technorati. It has peaked and is sliding downward fast--most people who care about blog results have moved on. I like BlogPulse.
Jason is the founder and publisher of Weblogs Inc., where I'm a lead blogger. He has an idea every day, that boy. It wouldn't surprise me if Google and Yahoo! developed blog indexes, but I'm not sure the results would be cleaner than at the dedicated blog engines.
Posted by: Brad Hill | July 26, 2005 at 10:07 PM
Don't worry; if there is money to be made and an industry segment to define in the search engine world, Google will eventually take over.
Posted by: Blaine Moore | July 27, 2005 at 07:59 AM
Joe, check out the series on blog search currently running at napsterization.org, starting with:
Posted by: Andrew | July 27, 2005 at 09:27 AM
I like the blog search at IceRocket but even that still has a way to go. Likewise I have been disappointed with PubSub lately. There is a lot of work to be done yet but I wonder if the search companies see blogging as a large enough percentage of the web to require a special tool.
Posted by: Alfred Thompson | July 27, 2005 at 10:50 AM
Hallelujah!! .. I thought I am a too much of newbloggie resulting in confusion in Technorati and all the rest .. Thank's fellow bloggers .. now I know I am not alone .. *phew* .. will chk out IceRocket now ..
Posted by: Edmund | August 01, 2005 at 09:21 AM