Google on Wednesday revamped its Blog Search tool with a news-like presentation. The tool looks more like Techmeme, Blogrunner and Tailrank, aggregating blog posts.
"Did you know that millions of bloggers around the world write new posts each week? If you're like me, you probably read only a tiny fraction of these in Google Reader. What's everybody else writing about? Our Blog Search team thought this was an interesting enough question to look into," Google Product Manager Michael Cohen wrote in the company's blog.
To answer that question, Google found a massive mix of entertaining items about celebrities, personal perspectives on political figures, cutting-edge -- though sometimes unverified -- articles, and a diverse range of niche topics. Google Blog Search seems to be attempting to pick up where the traditional news media stop.
Interesting Blog Stories
The new homepage for Google Blog Search lets visitors browse and discover what Google deems the "most interesting stories in the blogosphere." Google accomplishes this by tapping into the technology that powers Google News.
Google Blog Search organizes blog posts into clusters, groupings of posts about the same story or event.
"Grouping them in clusters lets you see the best posts on a story or get a variety of perspectives. When you look within a cluster, you'll find a collection of the most interesting and recent posts on the topic, along with a timeline graph that shows you how the story is gaining momentum in the blogosphere," Cohen said.
A Techmeme Killer?
Some industry watchers are calling Blog Search the Techmeme killer. Techmeme aggregates technology stories, and Google's Blog Search was one of the top stories on Techmeme's home page Wednesday afternoon.
But Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, isn't so sure Google Blog Search will put Techmeme under. He does think, however, that Google's revamped blog-aggregation site offers a more interesting presentation of blogger content than its first attempt.
"Google News flattens all news sources. In a certain sense, it tends to take the brand out of news by presenting many different sources in one place. Google News stories are almost undifferentiated except by topic," Sterling said. By contrast, he said, Google Blog Search elevates blogging, giving it even more credibility by presenting it in a similar format.
"For the average news reader, the distinction between traditional news sources and blogs is starting to diminish. Certainly there are brands in news that have more credibility than others," Sterling said. "But overall people are interested in the content and they are switching back and forth between conventional news sources and blogs, and there's a blurring in some cases."