Thursday, March 24, 2005

One Up on Google?

For the past month or so Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has been complaining about an apparent bias in Google News' listing of bloggers. (Here is the first post on the subject and he has had several more since.) This has a whiff of conspiracy theory about it, but I have noticed that when trying to find out what blogs are saying about a subject, Google is usually not the best resource. Technorati is usually good, but since they only do blogs, it can be hard to remember to look there while researching a news story. What we really need is a general purpose search engine that can focus specifically on blogs when necessary.

Just as I was thinking this I received, to my surprise, the following email this morning:

I found your blog from my company's blog search feature. I just wanted to let you know that we have your blog indexed and if one of our users searches a term that you have in your blog content, your blog will appear within our results.

I read some of your blog today and I have also added it to my favorites list, keep blogging!!

Blake Rhodes

P.s. Please checkout the blog search, I think you will like it. IceRocket blog search.
Obviously the flattery in the last line is mere marketing, but I did, in fact, check them out and they look like a potentially good resource. I addition to the usual categories of Web, News and Images, they also have one devoted to Blogs.

This section could probably use some work since it is not clear how search results are prioritized. I did a search on Ward Churchill (which is Instapundit's most recent topic at the time of this writing) but Instapundit is nowhere on the list, despite being the number one blog and having covered this topic extensively. In fact I didn't recognize any of the sources on the first two pages (Vodka Pundit was on page 3). However, to be fair, I tried searching for "Eason Jordan" and came up cherries with Captain's Quarters at the number 1 spot. So maybe the indexing needs a little tweaking.

Still, I certainly appreciate the attempt to fill a need that has been bugging me for quite a while. I look forward to seeing where this goes in the coming months. I wonder if this will challenge Google to add such a feature, since after all they own the Blogger software on which this humble post was written. (Similar point made here.)

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