Google Blog Search Doesn't Suck?

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Google Blog Search Doesn't Suck?

Google Blog SearchAfter bashing Google Blog Search (saying it sucks) just 3 days ago, a Google engineer came across my blog article and emailed me. He stated that Google corrected a bug with their back-end and that TMCNet's blogs were back in Google Blog Search. Kudos to Google for not only responding so quickly but for proactively contacting me since I had difficulty reaching Google.

The funny thing is that he emailed my old email address (tkeating @ tmcnet . com) which should have bounced back to him as System Undeliverable. However, I forgot my Google Blogger password, which was registered to my old email address. So I temporarily added my old email address back into our Active Directory server so I could receive the password recovery email. Just minutes later I got an email from the Google engineer regarding my Google Blog Search issues. Had he sent it just a few minutes later, it would have bounced back since I disabled this email account again and I would have had no idea TMCNet blogs were back in Google Blog Search. What are the odds? Maybe I should play Powerball this weekend.

I'm happy that TMC's blogs are back in, but I still wish Google Blog Search had some of the more advanced functionality like Technorati has, such as a tag searching, Authority ranking, etc. Of course, rumors abound about Google acquiring Technorati, so they could acquire their technology.

Although if Google did acquire Technorati, it could make Google Blog Search redundant. That's what happened with Yahoo! when they shut down Yahoo! Photos in favor of Flickr whom they acquired. Regardless of what happens, I do like Google's new universal search which integrates news, blogs, web search results, and video into the main Google search engine.

Finally, if curious, here's the email Google sent me:

Tom,
I'm an engineer at Google, and I work on Google blog search. I read your post about the problems with blog.tmcnet.com. For starters, I wanted to let you know that we fixed a bug and all of the tmcnet.com blogs should be in the index again. A query for your blog-- blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?q=blogurl%3Ablog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating
--shows about 1200 posts dating back to mid-2005.

I'm sorry you had so much trouble reaching us. The engineering team usually hears about user reports like the one you describe, but I don't recall hearing about your complaint. I'll check with the user support team and see what we can do to be more responsive in the future.

It looks like the root cause of the problem was a bug in our backend.
We attempt to distinguish between blogs and non-blogs. We do crawl the feeds for site's like TMCnet's Alternative Power magazine or the New York Times. It looks like the blogs of TMCnet got put in the same bin as the non-blogs. In short, we weren't serving your blog because we thought it wasn't a blog. Distinguishing between feeds from blogs and non-blogs is big challenge and we're continuing to improve here.

I hope you have better luck with Blog Search in the future, and let me know if you run into other problems.


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