By Staff | 15-09-2005 03:57 PM
Google has launched a new service that allows users to search for the latest blogs on any subject they choose.
Launched as a beta test, the ‘Blogsearch’ engine at http://blogsearch.google.com could represent a major threat to established blog search engines and portals such as Technorati, Blogpulse, Feedster and IceRocket.
While Google's traditional search engine already indexes millions of blogs, the links to them are often old or mixed with regular Web pages.
Rather than using ‘spiders’ to crawl through sites like the Google search engine, Blogsearch monitors existing RSS or Atom blogfeeds, which are used to channel weblog content onto websites or directly into individuals web browsers or e-mail accounts.
The tool also lets users create Google searches within their own RSS readers, allowing them to monitor what is being written about their chosen topics.
The service will only include blogs that offer Web feeds, which means the content is always updated.
Advanced features allow users to narrow searches by author, date and language.
The results are ranked by relevance by default, but users can sort results by date, with the most recent entry at the top of the page.
Google's blog search is also incorporated into the company's blogging service, Blogger, which it bought in 2003.
The tool currently allows searches in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Portuguese.
Commenting on the launch, Suranga Chandratillake, CTO and founder of rival search engine blinkx: “Although it is interesting that Google has done this, it doesn’t strike me as being anything new. Other large and small players have been searching blogs for a long time, including blinkx”.
“The likes of Google are still missing the crucial point - focusing on textual web, whereas the real ones to watch are video and audio. Look at how fast blogging is growing compared to podcasting,” Chandratillake added. “To be honest, indexing blogs when rich media is exploding the way it is, is a bit like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.”