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Google doing away with blogs :)
Not sure if posted yet but anyway

 11:06 am on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)


Looks like no more blogs in main index anymore YAY!

What does everyone else think? Sorry if posted before




 4:29 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Segregating blogs seems a little silly - especially since most of them are original content. The problem lies in the excessive linking. That could be easily rectified with an algo change.


 5:13 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I see concerns about "excessive" linking... hell isn't that what the web is all about, what we're seeing, finally, is the realization of hypertext.

Very interesting that some people consider weblogs worth very little, what about the "democratization" of the web?

Now that the web is finally maturing to the point that hypertext [uiowa.edu] is actually being used the way it should be there is a rumor that Google is planning to punish [theregister.co.uk] sites that actually make use of it?

If the rumor is true it seems like a large step backwards to me, weblogs are becoming the driving force behind the web, I’m concerned what would become of my favorite blogs such as Tim Bray’s ongoing [tbray.org], a great resource for programming and text-processing, Dive into Mark [diveintomark.org] for markup, and SciFi Today [scifitoday.com] for science news and fiction, and ftrian [ftrain.com]… well I have no idea what it is but it rocks, taking full advantage of hypertext. Not to mention my own which is only a quarter weblog and the rest traditional static site, how will people find my cartoons?

If blogs are skewing Google’s results maybe they should either revamp their algorithm or simply realize that weblogs are the future and the web is finally becoming truly hypertextual.

As far as I’m concerned any web-resource that utilizes http should remain in the main index. It’s very dangerous to try to separate out sites simply for the format they are presented in, especially when more and more are relying on Content Management Systems, I figure in a few years there will be no differentiation between “blogs” and “regular sites.”


 5:20 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Evan [evhead.com], tiptoeing around the issue, suggests that "as far as I know, Orlowski is full of crap." (It was Andrew Orlowski who wrote the Register piece).


 5:29 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

..so this is a beat up after all?...

michael heraghty

 5:36 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I figure in a few years there will be no differentiation between “blogs” and “regular sites.”

Great post Fmonk; I agree wholeheartedly with you. I think it would be a mistake to demote blogs to a separate part of Google. I am a freelance journalist, and I do not consider what I post to my blog [mediajunk.com] to be "gossip".

Indeed, most of the sites I look at regularly are blogs (including Google Weblog [google.blogspace.com]!) and many of these I found originally through Google.

Last but not least, I agree that in the future, most -- if not all -- sites may well have blog formats, or may be powered by blog-style CM software, so much so that the word "blog" may become redundant. I wrote a piece in my blog (!) a few months back, claiming that the blog is the web's new "killer app" [mediajunk.com].

Blog on, folks...


 5:48 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

>a beat up

I think Williams just restated the question. Which is, imo, if Google didn't find that blogs improved the results do you suppose they'd increase their presence, or decrease it?

Personally, I didn't read evhead as a resounding endorsement for blogs in light of googlebombing and the problems their auto-cross-linking is causing for google's linkpop ranking system.

Commercializing Blogs

I got an interesting comment on this blog the other day. Someone wrote that they are offended that blogs, what used to be "an 'innocent' repository of ideas," are now becoming commercialized. Hello! Get with the program. It is the 21st century and every great idea gets commercialized in a nano second these days.

ClickZ Weblog Business Strategies 2003 Conference & Expo [weblogs.jupiterevents.com]

Two comments:
-1- Anyone remember when email was pure and 'innocent' --until the green card incident.
-2- If it took business a nano second to get the idea, they were slow when compared to the blackhats.

[edited by: rcjordan at 6:16 pm (utc) on May 9, 2003]


 6:10 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah, now that I think about it, Forums should get their own tab so you can search for forum content which is different. Forums are probably way bigger phenomena than blogs. But I DON'T want this to happen.

And I agree, I think pulling out the DEJA data from the main index was a BIG MISTAKE. They should allow you to include the DEJA results in the index, perhaps even include it as a PR boost. Data is data. When I'm searching for something, if it's in the groups, why shouldn't it show up? Lord knows it probably would have helped get results on many searches.

Google is supposed to be good at sorting data and providing relevant results. I haven't seen blogs or forums (or in the past the deja content) skewing results at all. The more I think about this whole concept, the more I think Google made a mistake.

Anybody mind if I start a poll (is this allowed, or will be viewed as duplicating content of this post) asking if people think splitting the groups was good or bad for google (and by extension, will doing the same for blogs be good or bad)?


 6:22 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Im posting a small bit from a blogger called Russel l Beattie, which i found when i went looking for what the blogger types were saying. Daypop was down.. but blogdex was working..

Moderators no prob deleting this but I really got a laugh out of it.

"...I'm getting SICK of running into my OWN BLOG while doing research into any of the topics that I've ranted about here. I spend a couple posts talking about a technology with questions or thoughts, then later I go to implement this tech and need specifics and yet 2 or 3 of the top ranks are filled with my annoying blather..."

Guess it just about says it all...


 6:28 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

...I think pulling out the DEJA data from the main index was a BIG MISTAKE.

I do too, when searching Google I usually end up doing two, sometimes three searchs. 1) the main search, 2) in newsgroups and sometimes 3) in GoogleNews. A lot of the time I find the information I need in the newsgroups, esp if it's technical in nature.

I'd hate to have to add even another search, I agree data is data.

Anybody mind if I start a poll

Well, I don't mind. But I'm not very high on the totempoll.


 6:39 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

A few random questions on this.. But i think the whole question is a vexed one!

1. Why does Google need to have a blog search anyway? Daypop, Blogdex and quite a few others are doing this very well already using some very smart technology..

2. Like others have said, i cant remember ever seeing blog content highly conspicuous on searches i do. It fact i have to go to daypop and blogdex to actually find bloggy type stuff.

3. Wouldnt the problems in cross linking giving an "unfair advantage", be able to be addressed by existing "link pattern detection" procedures, or devaluing pages for a few days while they experence the almost always transitory "word" or "link" bursts?

Disclaimer.. We do have a couple of news sections that use blog software for their CMS so there is a self interest.


 6:40 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sorry, google, but this is a very bad move.

If whatever tool they have to search blogs isn't exactly the cat's pajamas, then they should expect the kind of googlebot banning mass-exodus that will make them the Altavista of the blogging community.

I once commented that such a move couldn't happen with normal webmasters (and I stand by that), but the blogging community is tight and can turn on dime.

brotherhood of LAN

 6:48 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Agree with #1 chiyo.

I don't think it'd be all that hard for google to spot blogs either.

I also think that if blogs were to top competitively searched terms something should be done about them. I see the SE's treating blogs as "cliques" that have no real source of "new" information.

Does the definition of a blog wider than that of "just someones opinion on something". I don't read them all that much, they're like diaries, and in a 3b page web, someones diary is (should) not be at the top of the pile.

Dghost, there's that blogdex celeb penalty i mentioned in supporters, now wheres that list? ;)


 7:09 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

1. Why does Google need to have a blog search anyway? Daypop, Blogdex and quite a few others are doing this very well already using some very smart technology..

To serve contextual ads on their blogger.com pages.

It's a classic dilemma -- promote blogs in the interests of expanding your advertising potential on the blogs themselves, or demote blogs from the regular index in the interests of improving the backfill, so that the regular index remains a good market for adwords and sponsored links?

The question for Google isn't whether blogs are worthwhile or not. It's merely a question of what sort of arrangement will sell more ads.

Anyone who hasn't figured out that Google is an ad agency has not figured out much at all.


 7:17 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

interesting points kackle. On a tangent, I doubt vey much than ads on blogs will have anything like good CTR. Too many distractions and links going everyhwere and content mainly revolving around right wing and left wing politics, undergraduate humour and conspiracy theories, introspection and naval gazing on the blogging "phenomena" itself. Perhaps you could sell blog software on blog pages... or maybe red-eye and teniositis cures and reading glasses, kitty litter, dictionaries and whoopie cushions.


 7:26 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

They're just making it harder to find out what's on the menu [googlemenus.blogspot.com].


 7:55 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Perhaps you could sell blog software on blog pages...

How about software that generates trivial opinions on current topics without recourse to checking out the facts? You could set your blog on autopilot. Every third word in the posting can be a link. Every fifth post can flame some other post. All of this can be configurable in the software.

From what I seen of blogs, it seems that many bloggers complain that they get behind in their postings. There's a big market here, I suspect.


 8:13 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Blogs... yuck.

Good riddance.



 8:18 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

PS: I typed a much worst opinion, something about poorly digested food, but that was a little extreme.

Google is about provided valid results. if you want opinion and blather, click the blog tab and search.



 8:29 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think Andrew Orlowski is taking a comment and taking it in the direction that he wants to go. I would take that article with a grain of salt.

GoogleGuy, going for understatement. :)


 8:30 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I reckon Google's attention will move to forums after they've dealt with blogs. If not before.


 8:38 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm divided on this one;

One the one hand, from my experiences, the majority of blogs (not the majority of well-known blogs, but *all* the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of blogs) are filled with empty content lacking substantiative value to anyone but the blogger's close friends. I stumbled across a blog the other day that was, day by day, "today I feel like... today I like... today I hate...", and it was all about the petty, illiterate likes and dislikes of some college student.

On the other hand, one of my sites consists entirely of op-ed pieces on various current events / non-current events topics. Each article (that's what I call 'em, anyway) is it's own, static HTML page. This site is listed in a couple of blog indexes, because, apparently, it consists of "regularly updated" pages of "personal views" or somesuch. I get fairly good traffic from the SE's, led by Google, for a wide variety of terms and phrases for these pages. It's entirely a noncommercial site, I make no money from visitors in any way, but I enjoy the ability and opportunity to voice my views. Am I a blogger? I don't think so. Is this site a blog? I don't think so. Might Google think it's a blog, because it's linked to from several blog indices? I'm afraid it might...

There are a lot of sites like this one, which I worry would be relegated to a separate blog index.

On the other hand, playing Devil's Advocate for a second, supposing Google DOES move all blogs to their own index, is it likely, given the ever-changing, topical nature of blogs, that Google might crawl and update the index more frequently than the standard SERPs? Or would they just be recreating the already-existing blog indexes?


 9:06 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy: I agree. Andrew Orlowski (the author of the article on The Register) has been posting a few "anti-Google" and down right strange articles recently: such as "claiming" the Google News is in fact produced by human journalists because some press releases were class as news articles - despite them actually being "news": ok, maybe not in the conventional "world changing" sense of the word news but still informative happenings (quotes such as "This isn't some synthetic version of reality created entirely by robots. The selection and placement of stories were determined by a person, someone who thinks unedited press releases from lobbyists, special interest groups or corporations are "News"), that Google claims to be an "online democracy" etc.

Personally, I'm taking anything that Orlowski posts on "El Reg" with a big pinch of salt now.


 9:55 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well I got to the end of this thread only to be beaten to it by GG taking the wind out of the discussion ;)

I would still like to say that blogs do turn up very frequently in the searches that I do..but being a "seasoned" web user I know them for what they are so I know not to believe everything I read on them. To those that post factual blogs (and use blogs as a "legit" part of your site)..I often have no way of defining you from the pack, so I have to ignore all when I'm quoting/researching. (My choice I know but that's what sets Blogs apart for me anyway) A "revered" blog to me means this is your/my 15mins...

I do think that blogging has taught us all a thing or 2 about to properly use hypertext as mentioned earlier. And I absolutely love the line "get with the programme!". This sums it up very well for me, it's a "house of cards" you just don't know which way it will fall... but it's interesting to watch no?



 10:57 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a blog that is only updated a couple times a week. I love having a place where I can write a paragraph or two about something new I've discovered about the topic, something in the news, a great website or a new book on my topic. It's a way to convey information to my visitors that isn't big enough to be made into an article. Now are we saying I need to call it something different or structure it in a different way? What a pain.

It's only a small part of my site. Seems to me blogs should be judged on content not that they are blogs.



 2:32 am on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Given GoogleGuys timely entry into this discussion, and views on the professionalism of the writer of the article, I can think we can safely assume its a "beat-up" (in journo terms), or a "troll" in forum terms.

One thing for sure though. Orlowski has let his imagination run wild from one small possibly unrelated peice of information and started blathering nonsense and foolish conjecture - (much like many blogs actually!)


 3:35 am on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

heh heh the register

Too bad, I would have said good riddance.


 7:50 am on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree that the purpose of the blog tab is promotional, and I doubt they will separate ALL blogs out into a separate index. (If they do, it will be only the blogs they host.)

I very skeptical that google can detect the difference between a blog and any other kind of page.

When hundreds of blogs pick up a link to the same story, thats not really a problem as long as google can remove the derivative one paragraph summaries from the SERPS and just show the site that all the blogs are linking to.

I had this problem recently.

I saw this article on Meta Filter:

metafilter [metafilter.com]

That article was widely picked up by various other bloggers. A couple of days later, I tried this search to find that article:


Today the top results are versions of this article. I assure you that a week after the article was published, ALL of the results for this search were blogs. I never did re-find the original article via google amongst the derivative blogger quotation and commentary on this article.

I often have a similar problem with online email list archives for technical searches. A very specific 5-7 word query will yield hundreds of pages which all turn out to all be online archived versions of the same email to a popular mailing list and five or six replies to the same list that quoted that phrase from the original email.

This is a duplicate content problem, not a link pattern problem.

That trackback thing is just another variation on the publicly writable web page problem. (So are guest books, forums, email list archives, public log files, etc.)


 8:02 am on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Absoultely agree with everything you say selkirk, but I do wonder just how much of a problem it is with SERPS when a highly specific 8 word phrase is used. Who would use that search for practical purposes, apart from doing SE research? I do accept that one problem was the original source was not able to be found, but really how important is that article apart from being picked up a mob of bloggers with an appetite for the off-beat?

One member stickymailed me a SERP where a blog had indeed taken over 7th and 9th places for a "practical search", so this one made sense.

- but really what would a jo blow google user really be looking for if he typed in "I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam" The original article maybe? Sure, but is it an article worth finding? Im surprsed that the original article did not turn up fast if Google really worked as advertised - giving better page rank to pages with more incoming links.

However i would tend towards the belief that it was just that faced with the length of the query Googlebot and her cage full of pigeons just tore their hair out and yelled in unison "What bloody fool would use such a long query!" and skulked off...

Cant really blame them..

They have more important things to do...

Now I assume a blog-affecianado would be the only person who would do a search for such. If so they would know that daypop and blogdex have specifically designed engines and alogos to find the original source far more effectively. Google and a broad-based algo cant do everything, but a specialist tool can.


 11:24 am on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

I use blog software for a free jobs board just because it's an easy solution for a free feature...
I guess I'm going to have to write a proper package for it all from scratch now :-(


 3:48 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have only actually noticed 3 blogs in searches that I've done, there may have been more, but I passed over them because there was a better looking result elsewhere.

Now out of those 3 blogs that I found. One had the information that I was looking for, and the other two got me to the answers in one more click.

There was one other time that I had almost all blogs come up, but it was a search for "dave barry blog". I don't really think that I can complain about blogs coming up in that case. Oh yeah, Dave's blog did come up first on that search.


 4:27 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

What I'd like to see is a series of radio buttons on the Google search page that would offer search choices to the user. For example...


( ) Everything in Google's index

( ) Only the following:

- ( ) Information pages

- ( ) E-commerce pages

- ( ) Message boards and newsgroups

- ( ) Blogs

This would be more convenient than the current method (which has separate indexes for Google Groups and Froogle) for users who want everything on a given topic, and it would provide filtering for users who want to include or exclude various types of content.

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