Blog Search Engine is a little bit obsolete term these days because not many people really use blog search mechanisms to find information and updates from the blogosphere. For most practical purposes, a popular seach engine such as Google or Bing would be sufficient to get you what you are looking for. This is one reason why Yahoo’s blog search project was withdrawn some time back and Google blog search is not well used either.
However, these days, when you refer to blog search engines, you actually mean those popular blog & RSS aggregators. Unlike pure blog search mechanisms they add a lot of value to their search users as well as bloggers because of the following reasons.
Advantages of Blog aggregators
First of all, the blog aggregators usually depend on the ping mechanism that the blog platform provides and the RSS/Atom feeds of the blog in order to update their search data. Since this process does not involve any complicated crawling or indexing mechanism, the blog updates are reflected much faster than the indexing process of your popular search engine.
Secondly, blog aggregators bring in referral visits rather than search visits. Typical search visitors are reaching your blog via keywords where as referrals from blog or RSS aggregators are coming in mostly after reading an excerpt of your blog post. This would basically mean more valuable visitors and low bounce rate. I should add here that sometimes the traffic from blog aggregators comes via tags as well.
Thirdly, blog aggregators mostly trust the quality of content, the authority of the blog and freshness of the posts to drive traffic where as traditional search engines results can be tweaked via Search Engine Optimization technics.
Top blog aggregators & search services
The following are the list of top blog search engines/aggregators. Some of them allow you to create an account and add your blog feeds there while others allow you to ping them for updates (Read: WordPress ping list) or purely search for contents. It is possible that some of these services can bring in some traffic to your blog via their feed reader options or search mechanism itself or tags.
Needless to say, technorati is on top of my list as it combines aggregation services, blog search, blogosphere’s topmost ranking mechanism and top 100 blog list. Technorati’s speed (did they ever care about that?) and search feature itself may not be all that great but its other features compensate for that. Also, it can filter SERPs based on tags, language, authority etc.
#2 Google Blog Search
Google Blog search is still around and it serves the purpose of a pure blog search engine. Usually, your blog posts appear on Google blog search even before it appears on Google’s main search. I mainly use Google blog search to check the hot queries in the blogosphere.
Sphere’s blog search is extremely fast and relevant. In fact, you have the option of quickly reshuffle the search results for relevancy or time.
#4 Ask.com blog search
Just like Sphere, Ask blog search also lists content based on relevance, time or popularity. However, it is not the fastest blog search engine you can find around.
Bloglines is mainly known as as an online feed reader service but they also have a decent blog search engine. It allows blog search results filter for popularity, relevance and date. Further, the popularity of the feed can be fitered based on subscriptions.
Although I do not expect many of these speciality blog search mechanisms to survive for long, the effort along these lines needed some appreciation and that’s why this post. I am just wondering how people will be searching for information in the future especially along various searchable entities (blog posts, images, videos, news etc). What’re your thoughts?