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Google launches 'Google News for blogs'

Updated Google Blog Search finds new blog posts and clusters them by topic

By Heather Havenstein
October 2, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Six years after Google Inc. launched Google News by applying its search technology to breaking news stories, the company has moved to apply its technology to a similar service to track new blog posts.

Google's updated Google Blog Search tool will use the technology that powers Google News to track and organize the 900,000 new blog posts added to the Web every 24 hours, Google said Monday. Previously, the tool only allowed users to simply type queries to search blogs.

"We're now showing categories on the left side of the website and organizing the blog posts within those categories into clusters, which are groupings of posts about the same story or event," noted Michael Cohen, a Google product manager, in a blog post. "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."

Categories on Google Blog Search include politics, technology, business, science, entertainment, movies, television and sports.

While the site is launching only in English, Google said it plans to eventually add support for more languages.

Marshall Kirkpatrick, a blogger at Read Write Web, compared the new Google site with others that aim to do the same thing. "It's cleaner and less spammy than Technorati, it's more transparent than Yahoo Buzz, it's more inclusive than Six Apart's new Blogs.com. So the big question will be whether it's faster than Techmeme."

He added that Techmeme, which primarily tracks technology blog posts, has an audience that is more influential than it is large.

"The new Google Blog Search has the potential to reach tens of millions of people and drive insane amounts of traffic," Kirkpatrick noted. "Techmeme indexes a limited number of tech blogs, primarily blogs linked to by other blogs that are already indexed. Google Blog Search, on the other hand, indexes all blog posts faster than anyone else on the Web."

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