I got an email this afternoon notifying me that there was a new post on the official Google blog, but the blog was down. Now that it’s back up we can read that Google is expanding its popular Google Alerts service to include blog search. At the end of last week blog search was linked to Google News and these two changes are going to work together to expose all the more readers to the blogosphere. It was just three days ago that Google Co-Op was launched. If you thought search was all wrapped up, you would have been wrong.
Email alerts can now be created for search results from blog search, news search, web search, Google Groups search and comprehensive results across all of those sources. The previous constellation of options was news, web, news plus web or Groups without blogs or a comprehensive option.
Coming in to Google Alerts from blog search gives you blog search alerts by default but now users creating news alerts will by default be delivered comprehensive search results including blogs. Got that? News alerts now include blogs, Groups and new web search results by default. That’s good news.
Yahoo! tried combining blog search and news in the same results page and it didn’t work out very well. Blog search was taken down from Yahoo! News last month, until it’s in better working order the company says.
It seems strange to me that there isn’t a one click method to add blog searches to Google Reader from inside the blog search pages, that the atom and RSS links still take you to a page of XML and that email is the method of tracking blogs that’s being moved forward. If I had read about this new feature in my feed reader it wouldn’t have mattered that the Google blog was down. Except that it does matter because Google is trying to make a huge online office play in the face of repeated security and service shortcomings. Can you imagine if a major business initiative of yours rested on the stability of Blogspot? As wonderful as Blogger is, I don’t envy anyone who relies on it.
Those kinds of issues will become all the more relevant as the visibility of the blogosphere continues to grow with moves like these new blog search alerts.