Two New Blog Search Engines

Last week, the world was introduced to two new blog search engines – one from Bloglines and another from Gnoos. In fact, they were both launched on the same day, and being the bigger of the two, Bloglines overshadowed Gnoos.

For those that don’t know, Bloglines is owned by Ask. The new blog search engine can be found on both Bloglines and Ask. The underlying technology running the engines are the same on both Bloglines and Ask, however the interfaces and functionality differ slightly.

At Ask, users may search by “posts”, “feeds”, or “news”. The news search features several thousand pre-approved blogs and news sites. Search results can be sorted by date, relevance, or popularity, and may be narrowed to specific time periods such as “anytime”, “last hour”, “last day”, “last week”, and “last month”.

“Popularity” is determined by what Ask calls “ExpertRank”, a complex algorithm, and various Bloglines data. “Relevance” factions in both popularity and the time/date of the post, so you get the news, most popular results first.

Advanced search options are available by clicking “advanced search”, which is located to the right of the search box at the top of the page.

Each of the search results contains a number of nifty little features, including:

  • A binoculars icon, which when clicked on creates a pop-up box containing the last 5 posts from that result.
  • “Save”, which when clicked will save that result to your clipboard.
  • “Subscribe”, which when clicked gives you the option to subscribe to the feed via Bloglines, Google, NewsGator, Yahoo, or RSS.
  • “Post to”, which allows to you post the result to Bloglines, Digg, Del.icio.us, or Newsvine.

Feeds related to your search term are displayed on the right side, along with information about the RSS information for subscribers.

At Bloglines things are slightly different. Users may search by “posts”, “feeds”, “citations”, “subscribe to URL”, and “the web”. Results may be sorted by relevance, date, or popularity.

Next to each search result is a little “+” sign, which when clicked will display the full post with original formatting. You can read the post without even having to leave the Bloglines site.

Each Bloglines search results contains several options:

  • “More Info”, which reveals the number of Bloglines subscribers for that post, as wel as any citations.
  • “Email post”, which allows you to email the result to your friends. (You must have a Bloglines account to use this feature.)
  • “Clip post” which allows you to clip the post to your Bloglines account. (Again, you must have a Bloglines account to use this feature.)
  • “Preview Feed”, which gives you a preview of that site’s feed. It’s formatted and everything!
  • “Subscribe to Feed”, which allows you to subscribe to this feed via Bloglines.

The other blog search engine released that week was Gnoos, an Australian focused blog search engine. The main page of the site features the search box as well as a list of the top search queries and hot tags for the day. Also featured are “latest updates” featuring the latest blog posts from “Aussie Blogs”, “Aussie Media”, and “Global Blogs”.

While the focus of Gnoos is Australian related blogs, they do include blogs that they deem to have a “global” interest. When conducting a search, you may choose to search “All”, “World”, or “Australia”.

Each search result includes a number of innovative features, including:

  • Information about when the post was made (Next to the clock icon).
  • “Comments”, which allows users to leave comments on that blog or posts at Gnoos.
  • “Votes”, which allows you to either choose the up or down arrows. Up is equivalent to a thumbs up, or approval, and down is like a thumbs down, or disapproval. Votes are counted and will be used in the future to help determine relevance in related searches.
  • “More” – by clicking this the entire blog post is displayed and formatted. Once open you may also choose to “Hide” it again.
  • “Tag this”, which allows you to tag the search results with terms. Currently, you can’t do anything with the tags, but Gnoos is working on functionality around the tags, and should have something soon.

Check out the discussion on V7N webmaster forums, for other users opinions of the Ask.com/Bloglines blog search engine.

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