How do I use Google Blog Search?
Dave, I'm very excited! Finally, Google's unveiled its blog search system, called, ingeniously enough Google Blog Search, and I want to learn all about how to use it. You ready to take on that challenge?
I'm also excited about this. Finally, we can sidestep slow and primitive RSS and Weblog search engines like Technorati and Feedster and instead tap into the amazing speed that is the underlying Google technology.
However, it's still Google, so it's still leaning on the complex side. Let's have a look...
First off, basic searches are easy enough. Want to see where I'm mentioned in the blogosphere? Search for "Dave Taylor": you can obviously make the appropriate tweaks to search on your name instead, if you're so inclined. Want to see what parenting weblogs are out there? That's particularly easy now, just search for Parenting. Curious about what the blogosphere is buzzing about Voice Over IP telephones? That's another easy search: voip.
But this is Google, so now, finally, you can use more sophisticated search patterns too. Instead of just searching for "voip", let's try a more sophisticated OR search: (voip|voice over IP|Internet telephony). Nice!
Your best bet to learn how to build queries is to click on the Google "Advanced Blog Search" link, where you'll then see:
There's lots to experiment with here, but one fast way to learn more about the query language for this search engine is to enter specific fields then see what query is shown in the resultant screen. Of course, you can also just read their Blog Search Help, but there's something satisfying about reverse engineering a system, isn't there?
One interesting search capability that's worth exploring more is searching by blog post author. Here's an example. Now, if that could also pick up comments on other people's weblogs, that'd be an amazing tool...
By the way, perhaps the most important question and answer in their help system is #5:
Stay tuned indeed.
Two final notes: First off, if you're a member of the Blogger.com community, you should know that there's a version of Google Blog Search with a Blogger.com skin [Thanks, Andrew, for pointing that out], and secondly, a little bird tells me that Yahoo's RSS / Blog search engine is coming very soon too, so this space is about to explode, which is great news for those of us who keep track of the blogosphere.
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