Mirror mirror on the wall, which blog search is best of them all?

Last Friday I visited the famous South Park area in San Francisco. It’s a small park south of Market street where a number of cool Web 2.0 startups are located (Twitter’s parent, Obvious Corp, is located in a building on one end of the park). Anyway, I was talking with a number of people and I heard that Technorati’s blog search quality had seen a fairly large improvement lately and was better than Google’s blog search again. It’s hard to test blog search engines unless you know when an event started and can count up the good links and count up the spam.

There’s no way I can — alone — test out the search engine’s quality.

So, thought I’d open it up to all of you. Which engine is now better? Why? Give us some things to test out and reproduce what you’re seeing.

Here, I’ll start. It’s Videoblogging Week this week. So let’s compare both for “videobloggingweek2007.” That’s a top search on Technorati, so it should bias pretty well for Technorati, right? Let’s see!

Technorati for videobloggingweek2007. 147 results.
Google Blog Search for videobloggingweek2007. 76 results.

I didn’t see any obvious spam, did you? I think there might have been one on Google’s results, but it’s hard to tell spam blog, or splog, from actual real blogs anymore.

Also, I didn’t notice any duplicates on either service, did you? How about on the searches you’ve tried? It does look like Technorati has pulled ahead again in this race. The UI on Technorati is certainly ahead of Google’s, especially with the little chart of how many mentions a term has gotten. Search Technorati for EMI, for instance, and you can see that it really spiked today because they announced non-DRM music which got a lot of bloggers all excited.

So, try some searches of your own. Which engine is working best for you?

108 thoughts on “Mirror mirror on the wall, which blog search is best of them all?

  1. In my experience, Google returns far more results, but they also get periodically overrun with spam.

    I monitor the Google blog search feed for a technology I’m interested in, “OSGi”, and currently the feed is clean. Every now and again though, it gets flooded with spam for a couple of weeks, and then it all goes away. Of course it’s an arms race… the sploggers find a way to get their content into the feed; Google find a way to block it off; and then the cycle repeats.

    Technorati doesn’t have any of these problems, but it also doesn’t return any where near as many results.

  2. In my experience, Google returns far more results, but they also get periodically overrun with spam.

    I monitor the Google blog search feed for a technology I’m interested in, “OSGi”, and currently the feed is clean. Every now and again though, it gets flooded with spam for a couple of weeks, and then it all goes away. Of course it’s an arms race… the sploggers find a way to get their content into the feed; Google find a way to block it off; and then the cycle repeats.

    Technorati doesn’t have any of these problems, but it also doesn’t return any where near as many results.

  3. Tony,

    You’re right, casacomprar.wordpress.com wasn’t being indexed. We made a tweak to our spiders this morning, and now it is being indexed. Please do let me know if you experience any other indexing issues.

    Dave

  4. Tony,

    You’re right, casacomprar.wordpress.com wasn’t being indexed. We made a tweak to our spiders this morning, and now it is being indexed. Please do let me know if you experience any other indexing issues.

    Dave

  5. Since when is quantity of links a measure of quality success?

    How many of those are splogs or documented miscountings? http://www.seobythesea.com/?p=538
    Is the Technorati 100 accurate or is it manually manipulated?

    Where is Icerocket, Sphere and others in the conversation? Did all of the other blog search egnines close down and I missed the news?

  6. Since when is quantity of links a measure of quality success?

    How many of those are splogs or documented miscountings? http://www.seobythesea.com/?p=538
    Is the Technorati 100 accurate or is it manually manipulated?

    Where is Icerocket, Sphere and others in the conversation? Did all of the other blog search egnines close down and I missed the news?

  7. Has anyone noticed that Google Blog Search now finds comments, which Technorati still ignores? After all, comments are part of the conversation:-)

    Here’s a simple example, take David’s #12 above: Google finds itTechnorati doesn’t (but it took 50 seconds to search).

    (Sorry for dupe, trouble with URL at first attempt)

  8. Has anyone noticed that Google Blog Search now finds comments, which Technorati still ignores? After all, comments are part of the conversation:-)

    Here’s a simple example, take David’s #12 above: Google finds itTechnorati doesn’t (but it took 50 seconds to search).

    (Sorry for dupe, trouble with URL at first attempt)

  9. Pingback: Zoli's Blog
  10. Dave

    It’s hard to take a look when your algorithm completely ignores certian blogs.

    Our wordpress.com blog (the same one linked to in this comment) only gets updated on Technorati about every four months or so (its sitting at 89 days since the last update as of this comment). Our spanish language blog (http://casacomprar.wordpress.com) hasnt bee updated in over 200 days.

    - we post almost every day on our blogs
    - They are on a wordpress.com blog that pings technorati automatically
    - we also use pingoat about once every two weeks to ping the other pinging services who seem to find us without issue

    When we started a year ago, we’d be updated on Technorati in about 5 minutes…then one day it all just stopped.

    We also know that we aren’t the ones to experience this issue. You’ll gain a new fan once this issue is fixed across the board.

    Tony

  11. Dave

    It’s hard to take a look when your algorithm completely ignores certian blogs.

    Our wordpress.com blog (the same one linked to in this comment) only gets updated on Technorati about every four months or so (its sitting at 89 days since the last update as of this comment). Our spanish language blog (http://casacomprar.wordpress.com) hasnt bee updated in over 200 days.

    - we post almost every day on our blogs
    - They are on a wordpress.com blog that pings technorati automatically
    - we also use pingoat about once every two weeks to ping the other pinging services who seem to find us without issue

    When we started a year ago, we’d be updated on Technorati in about 5 minutes…then one day it all just stopped.

    We also know that we aren’t the ones to experience this issue. You’ll gain a new fan once this issue is fixed across the board.

    Tony

  12. Technorati is always down or broken when I want to use it. The unreliability led me over to Google.

  13. Technorati is always down or broken when I want to use it. The unreliability led me over to Google.

  14. Just from my own experience, I’m not really a huge fan of either. Technorati’s index seems adequate most of the time, but for some reason it failed to index a new post for over a week, until I posted again. Now I have a bunch of duplicate posts shown (although this may be because I started running my RSS through FeedBurner.)

    As for Google… I have a personal blog hosted on Blogspot, and on no occasion has Google blog search ever turned up a single page for it, even when I *know* I’m using search terms that occured in the relevant posts. I have much better luck with a vanilla site search, which I’ve found to work great for searching the archives (whereas new posts have to wait for the googlebot to crawl the site again.)

    Just my personal experiences, perhaps others have had better luck.

  15. Just from my own experience, I’m not really a huge fan of either. Technorati’s index seems adequate most of the time, but for some reason it failed to index a new post for over a week, until I posted again. Now I have a bunch of duplicate posts shown (although this may be because I started running my RSS through FeedBurner.)

    As for Google… I have a personal blog hosted on Blogspot, and on no occasion has Google blog search ever turned up a single page for it, even when I *know* I’m using search terms that occured in the relevant posts. I have much better luck with a vanilla site search, which I’ve found to work great for searching the archives (whereas new posts have to wait for the googlebot to crawl the site again.)

    Just my personal experiences, perhaps others have had better luck.

  16. Robert,

    Here’s another for you. Go look at the top item on Techmeme currently, the EMI Apple DRM announcement:

    http://www.emigroup.com/Press/2007/press18.htm

    Here’s the blogs linking to it as shown by Technorati:
    http://technorati.com/search/www.emigroup.com%2FPress%2F2007%2Fpress18.htm
    Currently showing 764 links.

    Here it is on Google Blog Search:
    http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=link:http://www.emigroup.com/Press/2007/press18.htm&ie=UTF-8&scoring=d
    Currently showing 491 links.

    Dave

  17. Robert,

    Here’s another for you. Go look at the top item on Techmeme currently, the EMI Apple DRM announcement:

    http://www.emigroup.com/Press/2007/press18.htm

    Here’s the blogs linking to it as shown by Technorati:
    http://technorati.com/search/www.emigroup.com%2FPress%2F2007%2Fpress18.htm
    Currently showing 764 links.

    Here it is on Google Blog Search:
    http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=link:http://www.emigroup.com/Press/2007/press18.htm&ie=UTF-8&scoring=d
    Currently showing 491 links.

    Dave

  18. Robert,

    Here’s another, Kathy Sierra’s latest post with an update on her appearance on CNN with Chris Locke:

    http://technorati.com/search/http%3A//headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/04/updatejoint_sta.html?authority=n&start=0
    Technorati currently shows 71 links.

    http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=link:http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/04/updatejoint_sta.html&scoring=d&sa=N&start=0
    Google Blog Search currently reports 53 links. However, when you click on page 5 (to see the 53rd link):
    http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=link:http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/04/updatejoint_sta.html&scoring=d&sa=N&start=40

    it tells you that Google really only knows about 36 links.

    Grist for your mill. Thanks for the post, we really have been working very hard at continuing to improve Technorati!

    Dave

  19. Robert,

    Here’s another, Kathy Sierra’s latest post with an update on her appearance on CNN with Chris Locke:

    http://technorati.com/search/http%3A//headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/04/updatejoint_sta.html?authority=n&start=0
    Technorati currently shows 71 links.

    http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=link:http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/04/updatejoint_sta.html&scoring=d&sa=N&start=0
    Google Blog Search currently reports 53 links. However, when you click on page 5 (to see the 53rd link):
    http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=link:http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/04/updatejoint_sta.html&scoring=d&sa=N&start=40

    it tells you that Google really only knows about 36 links.

    Grist for your mill. Thanks for the post, we really have been working very hard at continuing to improve Technorati!

    Dave

  20. Very interesting. Thanks for the comparison. My experience is different, but that’s just based on my own eclectic searches and the user interface that I prefer. But, overall I agree with your conclusions. Thanks!

  21. Very interesting. Thanks for the comparison. My experience is different, but that’s just based on my own eclectic searches and the user interface that I prefer. But, overall I agree with your conclusions. Thanks!

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