Since Google launched their Blog Search early this morning, i've had chance to play around a little bit, form opinions and take stock of what a few others are saying. The first thing is: It's NOT blog search.
It's Blog Search Jim, but not as we know it...
What it is, is feed search. On the surface there's not a greatly noticeable difference for many, but the difference is there, and it's quite profound once you understand why.
Many feed items are truncated, or otherwise edited - just snippets of the complete "on site" post. This of course means that you're not getting the full picture. You're getting a pretty good slice of that picture, but it's not complete, not by a long shot.
Historical and Linkage Data
Duncan pointed out at the blogherald that the link counts are way off base. Well, Search marketers wouldn't be surprised to learn that anyway right? Google have never given full linkage data and although the reasons may be different on blog search, the fact remains the same.
the good news for the competition is that the links count sucks. It’s delivered very, very quickly, but depth of numbers just isn’t their. The Blog Herald came in at 1,322 links where as on Feedster its over 3,000 now. Other blogs I’ve tested aren’t much better. I can only guess that perhaps its because its new and their might not be the history there, or because they are indexing RSS feeds as opposed to the blogs themselves that they are not getting a full picture.
Quite right. It does suck, but the links im seeing are very, very fresh. This is good, and although you may not be able to get that ego-propping high figure fix every day, I did like the way you can use regular search operators to produce some very fresh link data.
Now, what i'd like to know is why can't i combine [link:] and [-site:]? That would be really useful.
They've also added a few extra operators:
They're all blindingly obvious to you guys, but if anyone can explain what the hell [blogurl:] does i'd be most obliged :)
ADDED: Just reading Danny's observations and he says that the [site:] command does not work (which i'd noticed) but [blogurl:] seems to be doing the same job - there, mystery solved! Danny has a bunch of other stuff in his post worth reading aswell, so take a wander over there and have a look.
Unsurprisingly enough, the blog index is pretty well littered with scraper spam. Needless to say, my old mate phil is less than impressed and neither is Damien Mulley, calling it a "monumental letdown".
Opinions Vary, Depends What you know eh?
Opinions vary in the blogosphere's response to Google Blog Search. It's very much a case of those that know about search think it sucks and those that don't, love it. Not 100% accurate but it seems like a trend to me. There's nothing wrong with not knowing about Search, for some of those folks it will be a great tool - for those that do know about Search it will be a great tool, it's just that we notice the little problems and limitations, and ask why things don't work - pesky Search folk!
Some noted opinions:
- Google launches blog search – is this the death knell for Technorati, et. al? - Charlene Li: Much as she knows her Search biz, she wouldn't know her arse from her elbow when it comes to Search tech.
- Google's new blog search makes a great first impression - Scoble: Well he'd look like a wanker if he said otherwise wouldn't he?
- Google Blog Search - Unimpressive to say the least - Damien Mulley
- Google Blog Search is live - Niall Kennedy (Technorati) - Whereas he doesn't make much opinion on the service itself, it's worth noting his opinion that this could be good for SEO's wanting to test stuff out.
- Google Blog Search launches - Ben Metcalfe (BBC) - He's dissapointed, saying that although we know it's a beta, we expect more, 'cos ALL GOOG products are betas...
- Google Launches Blog Search Tool - Steve Rubel - Wisely staying out of it till he's had a chance to see what everyone else is saying...
- Google Launches Blog Search - Mary Hodder - Apart from making up a few Search algo terms as she goes along, generally a girl with good stuff to say, in this case she's NOT impressed - "page after page of me referencing myself is not so useful"
In conclusion, there's a little "rah rahing" going on amongst the unwashed, but overall people are fairly positve about the future of this tool, but disappointed with the initial offereing. The biggest complaint is the filtering of one's own site from results when doing link checks, non-working operators (operator combo's) and lack of historical data (only goes back to march).
Well, for me, guess what?
I like it. I do think it's limited, I do think it's a little bit of a letdown, but I think we could see some interesting things as they improve, and im looking forward to it. So there.