Google Blog Search Going Live

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Image via John Battelle
“John Battelle”:http://battellemedia.com/archives/001862.php broke news that “Google Blog Search”:http://blogsearch.google.com/ is going live momentarily.
Right now (2:30EDT), the FAQ is live, but the site is still 404.
The “FAQ”:http://www.google.com/help/about_blogsearch.html has lots of interesting stuff that makes “Google Blog Search”:blogsearch.google.com look like they are definitely on the right track:
Where will you find it?
* blogsearch.google.com (Google-style interface)
* search.blogger.com (Blogger-style interface)
* The Blogger Dashboard
* The Navbar on any Blog*Spot blog
Other Features
* Search result subscriptions from the bottom of results pages.
* Advanced Search offers ability to select date ranges, language, etc.
* You can swap the sorting from the most relevant to most recent results
* Safesearch works on this search just like Google itself.


Google Blog Search seems to be skirting the issue of what a blog really is by stating that “The goal of Blog Search is to include every blog that publishes a site feed (either RSS or Atom).” So anything with a feed is a blog, and anything without, isn’t.
*”If it ain’t got a feed, Google ain’t gonna read.”*
One of my key concerns is that it search the full post not just an excerpt or teaser if the publisher is sending out a partial feed. The wording on the site (“Blog Search indexes blogs by their site feeds”) is ambiguous to me. Surely they mean they use the ping to weblogs.com to _notify_ them to crawl the full page at the blog, not that they should crawl the feed itself. I’ll be checking this.
Interestingly enough it appears that Google started building the blog index in June and is so far only promising posts from that time forward.
The blogerati will love the search operators:
bq.. All of the standard Google Search operators are supported in Blog Search. These include:
* link:
* site:
* intitle:
Additionally, Blog Search supports the following new operators of its own:
* inblogtitle:
* inposttitle:
* inpostauthor:
* blogurl:
For example, a search such as [mandolin inpostauthor:Graham] will show you posts about mandolins written by people named Graham. Note that you can also use the Advanced Search option to achieve the same effect.
p. -All very cool.-
*3:00AM Update:* Bah! Not so cool.
“According to SearchEngineWatch”:http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3548411:
bq. Although Google Blog search focuses primarily on content published to the blogosphere, it’s not a true full-text search across all sources, according to Goldman. This is because some publishers only syndicate excerpts of content via RSS. Google’s blog search indexes all of the content it finds in feeds, but does not attempt to access and index the full content available on a publisher’s web server.
This is a serious drag. I don’t believe that ad-supported sites should publish full feeds, but now we end up not showing up in blog search. If one were to have a very successful site supported only by Google AdSense this would be a _real problem_. Google will end up taking a huge amount of blog search from the little guys (who were big guys until tonight). And that means traffic will decrease and revenue will decrease. But if you put the full post in the feed you get the search results traffic but lose everyone who previously clicked through from their feedreader.
What a mess. I’m going to bed and I’ll need to let this sink in.

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