Blog Search Update

I had been planning to do a review of blog search engines since I posted about Sphere the other day. Well, now I don’t have to. Tom Raftery beat me to it. His review is brief, but thorough.

First off, let me mention that both he and I were testing subscribed searches, mostly. That’s when you go to a blog search engine and tell it look for a search term like “weasel bucket,” and sign up to receive emails or RSS feeds when that search engine finds your term. For PR, that would be a great way to keep track of what people are saying about your clients or brands.

Tom and I agree on a number of things. My conclusion is that, therefore, we must be right. While he tried to search for things important to him, I did the same. I pretty much came up with the same results, using several different search terms. Here are my thoughts:

  • Sphere is good, very good for being so new. If it continues to improve, it will be contender.
  • Technorati still reigns in this area, in my humble opinion. The most thorough results regardless of what I was looking for. I did miss a few, though, and those were usually picked up by Sphere.
  • I haven’t personally tried IceRocket, yet, but will have to add it to my collection. Tom indicates that it produces the most results, but that the results are filled with spam. Like we need any more spam, right?
  • PubSub. I had high hopes with PubSub, but it appears to be falling off the radar. Tom agrees. Ironically, I became aware of all the services PubSub had to offer during a podcast interview between Tom and Salim Ismail, [then] PubSub CEO.
  • Google Blog Search. Tom didn’t review this, either because he finds no value in it or just didn’t think of it. I’ll have to post a comment and ask him. Another person did comment on Tom’s post about GBS, but Tom hasn’t responded. GBS is what my WordPress uses to tell me when people are talking about GOPR, but it misses a lot. Way more than I find acceptable.

So, in conclusion, do what Tom suggests. Use a combination. For subscribed searches – or for any search – a combination approach is best. If you tinker with them enough, you’ll find each has its own strengths and weaknesses when you’re using a real-time search. I haven’t made time for that, but I’m sure others have and I’d be interested in their thoughts. I’ll have to keep track of my searches in the future.

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6 Responses

  1. The problem with blog search engines in my experience is their is little consistency. Search engines generally come with similar results. Blog search engines remain all over the map. I don’t have a favorite yet, which means I do a lot more searching than I’d like. But I guess that’s what makes the Net so much fun.

  2. Luke – thanks for the link – it is good to see that your review findings mirror mine independently.

    A couple of things – Salim left PubSub about two months ago and on the Google Blog search point – well, I also find it very inconsistent. Sometimes it finds a relevant post first but more often it fails to find the post at all – so I left it out. I didn’t think it was ready.

    Ironically I found this post through a PubSub search!

  3. Tom: So did I, via the sidebar.

    😉

    Steven Cohen
    scohen@pubsub.com

  4. Chris: You’re right, the ‘net is fun. But searching for things? That’s fun? I guess I like a challenge as much as the next guy.

    Tom: Thanks for the update about Salim. It’s hard to keep track of everything! Right, Google Blog Search, not ready…nice way of putting it. They all seem inconsistent to me, but that’s because I’m not a serious techie or algorhythm writer…I’m a user. The PubSub search IS a real twist. Just when you think you can label something…

    And speaking of which, Steven, thanks for dropping by. Your comment indicates that PubSub’s sidebar works enough that you found me. I’m curious, what is your subscription set to search? If it was “pubsub” then I’m not sure I’m impressed that it found its own name, but if it was something different…I may eat my words. I, too, use the PubSub sidebar for Firefox and originally I was all excited about it. But since it’s been decided that no one can rely on one blog search engine (nor one Internet Search Engine, really) it wasn’t as helpful as I’d hoped. I’m not giving up on PubSub, just keeping a wary on the lot.

  5. Luke:

    I have a very extensive query going to monitor what people are saying about us. In this case, it was just a mention of our name. In other cases, many users are surprised that I find out that they blogged about us.

    Regarding using other engines, there are many out there. As a user, I usually use more than one. Of course, PubSub gives me the best results. 😉

    Steven

  6. mm. bookmarked.

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