Fred’s post today about blogging, tagging and subscribing reminded me to ask this question. If I am publishing on the web, i.e. blogging, I am putting content on the web. Which means, I am finding information on Google, when I search for it. GASP, even the blog posts. So do I need to search through RSS? What does it bring me? I don’t know, some semblance of focus? Not really, because if that was the case, then Technorati would not be pushing Tags, which is something lets me do better search using the web search tools. Like Yahoo. Are we inventing, for the sake of inventing? I don’t feel the whole Blog/RSS search thing as it is now. There has to be more than what it is right now!
9 thoughts on “Do we really need RSS-Blog search?”
One thing: freshness ?
If I want a broad search on a topic, then I use Google or Yahoo. But if I want to know what just happened, I check Feedster or Technorati. And if I want to constrain the search to people I read, I search my blog archive with Qurb.
Agreed. RSS search is mandatory in my opinion. Old-school search like Google and Yahoo will find you the most relevant content to a subject while Technorati (when it works) and IceRocket (when they get it to give accurate results) will give you the freshest results. When I want to know what something is, I go to Google. When I want to know what people are saying about something these days, it’s off to Technorati.
I would frame it as “RSS based smart distribution” as opposed to static search. RSS feeds from Blogs, Web-sites, Podcasts, will create opportunities for a smart, dynamic infrastructure solution, that combines user configured patterns on the front end, and matches/correlates them with RSS feeds, and distributes them to any end node in real-time. I think search as we know it today, will no longer be relevant.
Well. There are a lot of advantages. Freshness being one.
There are some more relevance techniques that you can apply here when you know that they are *just* blogs that you’re searching.
I might talk about this later as its a secret thing I’m working on 🙂
BTW. When I’m in your RSS feed there’s NO way to get to the permalink URL for your site. This is pretty annoying as I have to load your main site, then find the page.
Its about finding out what’s happening right now. This really struck home to me just over a week ago when I could not access my feeds via Bloglines one morning. Out of frustration, I wrote a quick post on my blog and within an hour saw a steady flow of people (with the same problem) from all over Europe seeking information, accessing that post via a Technorati search. This is not something Google can do at the moment. Original post here.
Search engines seem to be indexing stuff faster these days. Google’s cache for this site is only two days old. We have seen the time between “cachings” lower from weeks to days. I don’t see why this won’t keep dropping from days to hours, hours to minutes. A standard pinging system would make this all the more likely.
Assuming that search engines are moving toward picking up changes as quickly as possible, do we still need these search engines that provide freshness?
Few major differences:
1) Content found in search engines does not have an exact publication time and permanent link – which means it is only a momentarily snapshot of what the SE crawler found at a specific time. As a user you don’t really know whether the page has changed or when it was last updated.
2) Most of the content in blogs comes from real people (except for splogs and shadow pages) unlike search engine “blindness” to different content publisher types.
3) Calculating inbound linking (page ranking) inside the blogosphere create a much accurate picture on the target site relevance vs. link ranking calculation based on the whole web linking structure.
4) Blogs and posts are structured (you can reach a blog home page from every blog post) while web pages and home pages can be associated only by text based comparison of the url and the host address – weak mechanism.
5) Results in a blog search engine has much more meaning being sorted based on publication time vs. page ranking only algorithms. Users look at blog search results looking for freshness (mentioned many times in previous comments).
6) Crawling and spidering mechanisms being developed on the search engine side can be many times optimized vs. regular search engine tools thanks to the structured manner updates are retrieved (RSS index file)
And many other differences as well…