Google Blog Search Tool
Google recently launched a beta blog search tool. I have only been using it for one day, but so far I am impressed. I noticed that I was being crawled pretty heavily for the past few days and the Google blog search seems to have just about all of my pages. The Googlebot has been back to my site almost constantly since then.
The only questions that remain are how does Google rank blogs. Most of the time PR is a non-factor for blogs, which explains why most of the good blogs were so hard to find on most search engines. Many people don't link back to blogs, so links aren't always the most accurate indicator of popularity. No one seems to have an answer. Probably the best way to think of it is more along the lines of how does Google know that a site is a blog. It seems that it goes by the XML feed. Still, if it went by the XML feed alone, it would surely not have found so many of the pages of my site since I only include the most recent 10 or so blogs in my XML feed. It must have some patented criteria that it uses to separate blogs from non-blogs. I'm sure the SEOs have started their engines and are already working on ways to game the system. I guess they figure that if they can get a site onto the blog search they have a better chance of getting to the top. I'd say that they were right, although I'd wager that Google has a very good algorithm that is looking for fraud.
All in all, since I am a developer I find myself more often than not looking for information in blogs, so for me this new blog tool is very cool. I am not sure how it does this, but it determines blogs that may be of special interest to me based on my search and puts those at the very top. Maybe it uses the history to determine these. We'll find out soon. It is already better than IceRocket, and as soon as they add RSS / Atom agrigation, it may be better than anything else for a portal. We'll just have to wait and see.