RSS, OPML and the XML platform.
Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
It's been awhile since I reported on blogosophere search. This is mostly because it's not getting any better, with a few exceptions. The problems mainly arise from the broken blogosphere ping infrastructure and the unyielding supply of splogs. Let's start with blogosphere ping and move onto splogs.
I've tried manually pinging Technorati and the like. I've tried using Ping-o-Matic. I've written my own ping agents. Currently, I'm using FeedBurner's PingShot to ping Technorati, My Yahoo!, PubSub, Ping-o-Matic, NewsGator, Feedster, IceRocket, Weblogs.com and Blogdigger. The results are not great. According to The RSS Blog profile in Technorati, it hasn't been updated in 3 days. My other blogs have similar issues, iBLOGthere4iM hasn't been updated in 13 days, Besting Adwords in 4 days, Destroy all Malware in 13 days, Bad Politics in 28 days, R-mail in 28 days, Game Certainty in 13 days. Yet, everyone of these blogs is updated quite regularly (many several times per day). Now, Technorati is by far the worst of the ping sinks, but others are experiencing very similar. According to IceRocket, iBLOGthere4iM hasn't been update in 3 days, The RSS Blog hasn't been updated in 24 hours and so-on. PubSub reports 0 posts on my Website most days, yet I post about 20 times per day and others posts on KBCafe.com another 10 times per day. Google blog search hasn't updated it's cache of iBLOGthere4iM in 3 days or it's cache of Besting Adwords in 3 days. I don't want to leave anyone out, so I'll continue. Blogdigger hasn't updated it's cache of The RSS Blog in 3 days, BlogPulse hasn't updated it's cache of The RSS Blog in 2 days. I honestly couldn't even find a recent post in Feedster from the KBCafe.com domain. Why do we bother pinging? They surely don't actually do much with the pings. All of these sources would do better to simply poll our feeds once in awhile and stop all these ignored pings. Personally, I've decided that redundantly pinging them is now acceptable game. Anyhow, onto a second rant.
Splogs are killing me. Particularly from two domains; Weblog.ro and Blogspot.com. I'm not sure if Weblog.ro is a legitimate Romanian blog hosting service, but I can't believe how many invalid trackbacks, blog comment spams, referrers I'm getting from there. I've blocked it completely and most of the search engines have too, from what I can tell. Blogspot is definitely legitimate, but it's presence as the #1 hosting service makes it the primary target of sploggers. I don't know why Google is struggling so much with banning sploggers, but I'm at the point where I prefer search engines that ignore all referrers from Blogspot. Funny thing, Google blog search seems to filter out the Blogspot splogs better than most. The best, seems to be IceRocket, who I assume have completely banned new Blogspot blogs from getting into their index.
Anyhow, with the major subjects addressed, let's move onto evaluating how the individual blogosphere search engines are performing. I'll start with the ones I like the best and move onto the ones I don't think work at all.
The #1 blogosophere search engine IMHO is IceRocket. It responds in about 1 second. It filters out splogs better than all else. Its index is reasonably current and large. It has link search, keyword search, tag search. The results are available via RSS. What else can you say?
Google Blog Search
The #2 blogosphere search engine IMHO is Google Blog Search. It responds faster than IceRocket, but 1 second or 1/3 second doesn't really affect my overall experience. It filters out splogs better than most. The index seems to be more current, but not as large. It has link and keyword search, but lacks tag search. The results are available via RSS. Very good!
BlogPulse has gone thru the best improvement of late. The response times are much better, although it can be somewhat slow at times. It filters splogs well. The index is somewhat current, but not very large. It has link and keyword search, but lacks tag search. The results are available via RSS. The BlogPulse profiles are somewhat cool! Very good!
Technorati is the biggest disappointment this month. The response times are usually pretty good. It doesn't filter splogs at all, from what I can tell. I usually use Technorati to find new splogs to report to Matt Cutts at Google. Technorati often responds with new results that are actually days, weeks and sometimes months old. One of the most common emails that I get is users asking how they can get indexed by Technorati. Honestly, I don't know. I've setup profiles for all my blogs and ping Technorati regularly (sometimes even manually) and I don't know what works and what doesn't. Effectively, Technorati is mostly broken. Lot of great features in there if it actually worked.
Blogslines is actually a pretty good link search tool when it works. Unfortunately, the two most common responses are errors. The third most common response is no response at all. Even when it does respond with positive results, so much time has elapsed that I forget what I was looking for in the first place. Blogslines is not mostly broken. It is broken.
PubSub is infested with mostly splogs and it's very hard to find anything useful anymore. Beyond broken.
Yahoo! Blog Search
A promising future star. It currently doesn't have a homepage and it's really hard to use. I'd point at it, but there's nothing really to point to yet.