Using Google to Search Your Personal Blogsphere

Adding a free "blogs I read" search box to your own weblog provides your readers with an easy way to use Google to search the web, your site or just the blogs you read.

Over the past couple of years, the personal weblog phenomenon has just exploded. As with the web, however, finding the really good blogs can be a challenge. And once you do, it's not always easy to remember which of your favorite writers wrote something truly memorable that you'd like to revisit. Sometimes it's difficult to find even your own musings if you're a prolific blogger.

The "blogs I read" search tool is an elegant solution to this information finding problem. The brainchild of eBay interface designer Micah Alpern, this search tool uses the Google API and some homegrown code to enable search on your own weblog, those you read, or to run a search of the entire Google web index.

In theory, you could use this tool on any web page, even if you don't publish a weblog. There are three requirements for using the free code. The first two relate to the blogs you read. The third is that you get a free license key from Google.

You need to be using a RSS news aggregator like Radio Userland or NetNewsWire which exports a subscription file (a list of sites you read) in OPML format.

Alternately, you can run a blogroll through blogrolling.com. A blogroll is a list of sites you read frequently that you list in a column on your weblog.

Though Micah graciously offers the use of his own Google license key, the terms of agreement only allow for 1000 daily queries per key. So be nice and sign up for your own Google account -- it's easy and free. Your own account also provides you with a key and with access to Google in your own language, Google answers and Google groups.

Once you've met the requirements, simply submit the URL of your weblog and your Google key, and you'll be provided with the code to insert on your page.

Want more information? Read Searching the BlogSphere for more information on the code, the philosophy behind the tool, and how you can use it to improve web search.

For a good introduction to the entire topic, check out Greg Notess' article The Blog Realm: RSS, Aggregators, and Reading the Blog Fantastic.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

In the Wild West of the Internet, there are good guys and bad guys...
SiliconValley.com Sep 28 2003 10:31AM GMT
Spammers Mount Heavy Counterattacks...
Washington Post Sep 28 2003 2:22AM GMT
Google Launches Search and Advertising Program in Spain...
BizReport.com Sep 27 2003 6:01PM GMT
Librarians Better Than Google, Study Says...
SiliconValley.com Sep 27 2003 4:31PM GMT
Building a better metasearch engine - DogPile.com...
WebTalkGuys Radio Sep 27 2003 4:08PM GMT
Suit filed over VeriSign domain redirect...
CNET Sep 27 2003 0:15AM GMT
At Shop.org meeting, search engine marketing is never a dull topic...
InternetRetailer.com Sep 26 2003 7:53PM GMT
Google hails 'rational' tech sector...
BBC Sep 26 2003 6:59PM GMT
Google, Amazon in a war of search words...
ZDNet Sep 26 2003 5:54PM GMT
Yahoo walls out Trillian...
CNET Sep 26 2003 3:47PM GMT
W3C investigates web patent threat...
Silicon.com Sep 25 2003 2:49PM GMT
Tim Bray: XML and beyond...
ZDNet Sep 25 2003 2:21PM GMT
powered by Moreover.com

About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was About.com's Web Search Guide.