Some time over the weekend Google put links to Google Blog Search on the front page of Google News and at the end of each news search results page. This minor change is just the kind of integration of services the company has said it was going to focus on; something Sergey Brin might call a feature not a product. It’s liable to increase the market size for the whole blogosphere, though not as much as it could have if the link had been added to even the second tier list of services on the front page of Google. I think Google Blog Search is a very good service and I’m glad that more people will now be using it.
Remember when Google demoted Froogle from the top tier of the front page and replaced it with a link to Google Video? Traffic to the video site went way up. The underloved Google Blog Search is likely to see substantial growth as well – it turned one year old in mid-September and this could be its coming of age.
Even prior to this month’s launch of Google’s own ping server, I’ve long thought that Google Blog Search is one of the best options available. Unless I want to filter sources by number of inbound links, or peruse an index of blogs (both Technorati’s strong points) then Google Blogsearch is my preferred choice. I’ve found anecdotaly that it finds new blog posts faster than other blog search engines and some very rough research we did found that to be true.
Steve Rubel noticed the same thing tonight and pointed out that Google Blogsearch has been integrated with Google Finance for some time. It’s very strange that when the new Google Reader came out this month, blog search was not included in that service. Also yet to make an appearance: a blog about Google Blog Search (there are so many other Google Blogs, I’d really like to read that one if it existed) and ads run against blog search results. Surely both of those are coming and it’s only a matter of time.
Yahoo! on the other hand removed their blog search functionality and results from Yahoo! News in August. There was almost no public discussion of the move at all but the company says that blog search will return to Yahoo! once it works better.
As far as the other big guys go, Ask has a nice blog search feature that includes related RSS feeds along side the search results and splog filtering using Bloglines; Live.com has a feed search included in its “more” section but no separate blog search. Which of them will really make good use of blog search first? It could very well be Google.