Thoughts On & Poking At Google Blog Search

Chris covered the launch of Google’s new blog search in today’s SearchDay
Google Launches Industrial Strength Blog Search
. In this post, I want to add
some of my own thoughts. I’ll also be working up a rundown on reaction from
others, and Gary may be adding his own thoughts as a postscript here or as a
separate post. Top line thoughts? It’s not spam free. I wish it were "full text"
blog search to better represent the blog world. It’s got a short memory, not
going back past March 2005. But the backlink info looks good, certainly better
than you’ll get on Google itself.

  • Chris mentioned this in his article, but I think it’s worth stressing,
    technically, this is FEED SEARCH. You are only searching through any
    feed that Google has found. Some blogs don’t have feeds. Some feeds don’t come
    from blogs. Google understands these issues and figures down the line, it may
    have to revisit changes to make it truly a blog search, if that’s what’s
  • By default, sorting is by RELEVANCE, not DATE. If you are looking for the
    latest posts on a particular topic, use the "Sort by date" link in the upper
    right-hand corner. Unfortunately, you can’t save this as a preference.
  • As Chris noted, you can have results constantly sent to you via a feed
    alert. The feed links are at the bottom of each page. So if you wanted to know
    the latest blogs mentioning Google, you’d search for that word, sort by date,
    then subscribe.
  • Want to know the latest backlinks to your blog? Use the link: command,
    such as,
    sort by date, then subscribe to a feed of that search. That shows all links to
    your domain, to any page anywhere on your blog and will send you the newest
  • Want to know the latest backlinks to a particular post? Use the full page
    address, such as
    . That brings back
    matches linking just to that page.
  • Don’t want to learn these commands? Just type in a full URL, with or
    without the http:// prefix into the Blogger

    of Google Blog Search. It will automatically do the right thing
    there and show backlinks.
  • As Chris notes, Google says that for blog search backlinks, it’s not
    suppressing any of the links it knows about. To spell that out, here are some
    figures to contemplate:

    Notice, a search across the ENTIRE web on Google brings back fewer
    backlinks than across the much more limited feed database on Google. Why? The
    third line shows the answer. A search on the ENTIRE web on MSN Search web
    search brings back more results as well, despite MSN supposedly having a
    slightly (very slightly) smaller database of pages based on self-reported
    figures. Google simply doesn’t report all the backlinks it knows about for web
    search, something it has said time and again when pressed on the issue, a fact
    well know to many experienced search marketers.

  • It’s not FULL TEXT blog search. Huh? If you post to a blog, you might not
    send out the entire text of your post in a feed. We don’t, for instance. Our
    reason is that we don’t want everyone assuming they can reprint our material.
    Jason Calacanis of Weblogs has
    of similar issues despite copyright warnings in his full-text feed. But
    Google’s only currently searching what’s in the feed, meaning that it actually
    may be ignorant of a huge amount of blog content that’s not pushed in a feed.
    That produces some skewing, as I
    found with
    PubSub back in June.

    Ideally, I’d like to see Google do what Technorati does and grab the actual
    full-text of the post, rather than depend just on the feed. For its part,
    Google says this is something it’s pondering.

  • The site: command is
    said to work,
    but I didn’t find that the case.
    came back with no matches, for example. But the new
    seems to do the trick. However, compare that to
    on Google web search. Blog search gets about 414 matches, while web search of
    that blog brings back 344,000 matches. It’s a huge difference and show the
    greater blog coverage Google web search actually gives.

    The advanced search
    highlights the issue. You’ll see that the earliest date you can search back to
    is March 1, 2005. In other words, the feed database has a much shorter history
    range than the web database, something that full text indexing would solve —
    though you’d lose the ability to more accurate do things like author and date
    range searching if you’re taking scraped data, rather than delimited data in a

  • Spam clearly hasn’t been eliminated. A search for

    google blog search
    brings up a series of "Related Blogs" that are all
    spammy in nature to me. However, the main results below look fairly clean. But
    for a query on

    , spam is back with a vengeance. The first result (on Google’s
    Blogger service) tells me:

Resources To Acquire Stanley Power Tool Or Draper Power Tool On The
Internet Get your stanley power tool on the world wide web. The first thing
I thought of is how easy it is to get stanley power tool online. Google has
listings for many stanley power tool sites. There are lots of stanley power
tool that will help you.

In fact, the first four results when sorted by date are all similar in
terms of spammy, nonsensical copy. Doorway page spam on Google — it is 1999!

What we need is either better spam filtering or some type of super "sort by
date and relevancy" feature. PubSub’s got a feature that’s sort of like this,
but when I last looked, I still found spam and irrelevant content getting

  • Freshness or comprehensiveness seems an issue. For that query on

    , I get the latest post as being 40 minutes ago, with the one after
    that an hour ago, then the next one two hours ago. That’s it? Over the past
    two hours, there’s only been three blog posts about Google?

    While I don’t want all those poor selections where just anything mentioning
    Google may come up, I also want to see the latest. What we need is either
    better spam filtering or some type of super "sort by date and relevancy"
    feature. PubSub’s got a feature that’s sort of like this, but when I last
    looked, I still found spam and irrelevant content getting though.

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Google Blog Search Launched

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