I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m once again using blog search engine Technorati just as often as I use Google Blog Search. I have to because for many types of searches Google continues to deliver mountains of irrelevant results.
Back in December I interviewed representatives from both Google and Technorati for a PBS article about the blog search engine wars. I asked the Google spokesperson about its problems with indexing irrelevant sidebar content on blogs, and he assured me that Google would be working on this problem in the new year.
But that still doesn’t answer the question: Why do you need to index sidebar information in the first place? When I’m doing a blog search, I am almost always looking for content that shows up in the body of a post. I am never looking for something in the blog roll, or on the side feeds, or even stuff in the comments section. What on earth convinced Google that its users were looking for this stuff? These are the problems that plagued Technorati two years ago — problems that have been largely fixed, though not completely — so why is Google repeating the mistake?
Google Blog Search was almost perfect before they went and changed it. I had almost no complaints. Now they’ve gone and ruined a great product and are being stubborn by blowing off all the criticism.