Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Google Blog Search launches new look, features

It was back in January that I commented on changes in Google's Blog Search, a story that the readers at Sphinn seemed to like :).

A difficult product to manage (to say the least), Google's Blog Search has been improving and not only providing users with a 'quick take' on the blog world, but as mentioned in January, the product makes makes  it dramatically easier to ferret out those engaging in 'link bait schemes'.

Several new Google initiatives were announced today on the Official Google Blog, including the new features and front page on the Blog Search product.

Also, as pointed to in the past, Google now indexes a lot of blogs literally 'on the fly', moments after being published.  The new Blog Search will most likely take advantage of that facility, as well as it's own 'formula' for listing those blogs that are relevant, to attempt to provide better and faster results.

It is, in fact, a viable competitor to TechMeMe, Gabe Rivera's popular technology technology aggregator  and his other product Memeorandum which covers the world of politics.

There are hundreds of other aggregators out there in unique niches (IE: SEO), as well as all-in-one's such as Thomas Marban's PopUrls (which now includes a second IT page sponsored by Intel).  Inspired by PopUrls, Guy Kawasaki's Alltop is a 'mega-aggregator' that covers a slew of topics and just went through a re-design just last week.

Most recently Duncan Riley launched, a tech aggregator with some unique features.

So what does all of this mean to me, or you?

I've written numerous times that when I do look at TechMeMe, it's AFTER I write a post, so I'm not jaded by what someone else (or 'the crowd') is saying.  

TechMeMe's bot comes around here fairly often.  The two times I literally broke a story here (by accident ?), they became TechMeMe headlines.  Over the past year, we've been listed  approximately 50-60 times in  TechMeMe 'discussion mentions', for which I am thankful.  It's recognition that the blog is 'real' and the content may be interesting to some.

Inquisitr's new 'IQ' has us on Page B.  Good enough.  Duncan Riley is breaking new ground consistently and seems to be having fun doing it.

What's all the fuss about?

In our case, it's not about money, but for many, direct hits and new unique visitors could translate to income.  A TechMeMe headline (especially one that stays around for a while), depending on the topic, could drive as many as 1000 hits to a blog over a short period of time.

Google, once again (and it still remains to be seen how this works out) is just being smart and topical.

With the elections approaching, they also launched a page to help get the vote out.  Politics, it would appear, is where the product will be 'discovered' by many as the US elections approach.  A new voter page was also highlighted on Google's Official Blog today.

Will this new product hurt TechMeMe, PopUrls, or any of the others mentioned about?  My guess is that people will continue to use all of them, as I have, with the 15 or so aggregators that I currently use, particularly when my feed reader is on overload :)

Will this piece end up on any of them?  It's usually a guessing game, but I'll say two (but probably three :) ...


Staff Update: Oct 2 AM