Ask.com Blog & Feed Search : Next Generation Blog Search
Ask.com has brought together the technology behind their ExpertRank algorithm and their Bloglines RSS feed readers & subscription service to produce Ask.com Blog & Feed Search, a service which many in the search and blogging world have been anticipating ever since Ask bought Bloglines.
I’ll have some more on this later in the day as I’ve just flown in from Japan (and boy are my arms tired) but thought that I would share a snippet from the Ask.com Blog and the thoughts of the searchosphere.
Here at Ask weâ€™ve been enjoying two great flavors separately for a while: blogs and search. Our blog connoisseurs are the Bloglines team, who have created the Webâ€™s most popular RSS feed reader. Meanwhile, our search aficionados are the Ask Search Technology team, proprietors of ExpertRank and many cool derivatives thereof.
Well, it’s finally time for a tasty collision: introducing Blog & Feed Search, which combines the rich data of Bloglines and the search technology of Ask.com. Like peanut butter and chocolate, Bloglines and Ask Search Technology compliment each other to solve some key challenges in building a great blog search engine: finding rich, diverse, and timely information published every minute on the blogosphere, without getting overwhelmed with a ton of low quality content.
Chris Sherman of Search Engine Watch :
A basic search lets you limit results to posts, feeds or news within the blogosphere. Unlike many blog search services, which sort results with the most recent posts appearing first, Ask Blog & Feeds search lists results by relevance. You can re-sort results by date or popularity by clicking a link.
When sorted by relevance or popularity, a dropdown menu lets you further refine your results, displaying results from the last hour, day, week or month.
One of the nicest features of the new service is the ability to preview results before clicking through, using the “binoculars” feature similar to that found in Ask web search results. The nice thing about this feature is that it previews the entire feed as a popup above the search result, allowing you to scan the feed before taking action.
Interestingly, according to the media material provided to me, Ask.com is pitching the new blog search features as being “the next generation” of Blog and Feed Search – moreso than being a value-add to its Web search engine. This suggests it is eyeing the blog search market that Technorati currently dominates. What isn’t surprising is that Ask.com is finally leveraging their Bloglines asset. They say they are combining Ask.comâ€™s “world-class search technology” with “the industryâ€™s most robust feed and article data” from Bloglines. While Ask.com’s search engine prowess could be questioned (when comparing it to Google especially), I certainly agree that Bloglines has a very rich blog data set that probably isn’t matched by any other vendor (except maybe Yahoo).
Ask.com claims that its blog search will yield superior results, due to that by now familiar 2.0 term “collective human intelligence”
Another key feature is the quality of content. Ask.com Blogs and Feeds search is available in 20 languages with 4-6 million articles indexed per day. There are 1.5 billion articles indexed overall. Blogs and feeds that are indexed only include the feeds that Bloglines users have subscribed to.
So far I like Ask Blogs and Feeds search. The search results are a lot more relevant than Sphere. It will be interesting to see how it compares to Technorati, Feedster and Google Blog Search though. Those services are not limited to a certain subscriber base like Bloglines, but they also have issues with blog spam. It’s a bit of a tradeoff.
And from the Ask.com Press Release:
In addition to better results, Ask Blog & Feed Search offers one-of-a-kind tools, including:
* Search for Posts, Feeds and News within the blogosphere
* Sort by Relevance, Date and Popularity
* Preview the feed by mousing over the Binoculars icon, saving clicks
* Easily export search results to popular web services
* Subscribe to feeds not only in Bloglines but also other services, including Google Reader, NewsGator or MyYahoo
* Post or clip a search result directly to services like Bloglines, Digg, Del.icio.us, and Newsvine
*Subscribe to a search and find out within minutes when new content appears on the blogosphere matching your topic
* View related feeds when searching for posts right on the search results page
* Use Advanced Search to hone queries with a variety of options, including the ability to select one or more of the supported languages