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Google gives spotlight to blogs

Internet search powerhouse Google has launched an engine tuned to scouring blog entries for fresh news and views.

tech reviews Updated: Sep 16, 2005 12:50 IST

Internet search powerhouse Google has launched an engine tuned to scouring blog entries for fresh news and views.

"Every day, millions of bloggers use the web to express themselves -- sometimes to just a few friends, sometimes to a worldwide audience," Jason Goldman of the Google blog search team wrote on the company's website.

"We wanted to create a better way to allow people to find out what's being written in blogs, as it's being created," he continued.

Blogs -- short for web logs, are online diaries by individuals who may or may not be professional journalists -- have become an important part of Internet life, according to recent surveys.

Some 27 per cent of Internet users read blogs, according to one survey, which reports that some eight million US adults say they have created blogs.

Google launched a "Blog Search" beta version on Wednesday and heralded it as the easiest way to search for content in the cornucopia of online journals.

Web sites Technorati and Feedster are among those that already enable computer users to search blogs for key words or phrases.

"The 800 pound gorilla just entered the blogosphere, with Google launching its blog search," analyst Charlene Li of Forrester Research wrote in a web site of her own.

Google uses "ping" servers to update the index, guaranteeing it remains fresh, according to Li.

"We are continuously adding new content, very nearly in real time," Goldman wrote. "That way, you can find commentary on breaking news as it's being created by millions of individuals. Or get the latest take on the premiere of a new TV show."

Google strips out traditional news sources and other types of non-blog feeds like weather, stock quote updates, and customized search feeds, Li noted.

A "big difference" between Google and other blog searches is that results can be sorted by relevance as well as by date, according to Li.

"This relevancy ranking is what I think will be the secret sauce to Googles blog search success," Li said.

First Published: Sep 16, 2005 12:50 IST