Copyright 2005 Tinu AbayomiPaul
According to Google, Google's Blog Search is "Google search technology focused on blogs". It includes search engine results specific to blogs not just in the Blogger.com community, but across the blogosphere at large. You can access it at http://www.blogsearch.google.com/
What the Big Deal Is
A lot of people have probably heard about this extra version of search Google has added and are greeting it with a big yawn, particularly since it's still in Beta. So what is the big deal, anyway?
The big deal is that the top search engine in the world, which was already paying particular attention to blogs in regular search results, seems to make a subtle statement with the introduction of blog-specific searches.
Blogs are important enough to warrant their own special level of search, and not just as an advanced search option, but in their own search engine.
If search engines are paying attention to blogging that closely, you should be too -- if you want better search engine results.
Current fans of blogs will be able to search the freshest results so that they can see what is being discussed right now - information that is often as fresh as the news, and draws upon sources that the media-at-large either doesn't have ready access to, or interest in.
So to those with even the most obscure interests or hobbies, a blog search powered by a top search engine gives ready access to fresh information on any subject that someone can blog about.
And if a blog doesn't yet exist on these narrow themes? You can be the one to start the discussion.
Why It Matters to Your Business
Speaking of the media, this is likely to become one of the many tools that a journalist in the know would use in order to research a story, or to find out more information about a company, directly from the people who use its products or services.
Technorati, is at present, arguably a better tool, but it's just not as well known as the Google brand. If you're a power searcher, you already know what Technorati is. But the key thing to understand is that most consumers - even B2B consumers - aren't as deeply involved in the internet.
But even those folks know what Google is.
There's an even more obvious advantage to this specialized search.
Google Blog search has the unprecedented potential to bring the mainstream surfer into blogging, even more than Yahoo's RSS Headlines pioneered the start of making RSS mainstream about a year ago. Why?
While many of your clients will fall instantly in love with RSS, it's more fair to them to present its possibilities in a format that's easier for them to digest. It's not as hard to explain a blog - and if you can't you can simply tell them it's a more frequently updated part of your existing site.
When Google's Blog Search is brought more to the front in coming months, if your site gets into position to be visible when more of the internet population becomes blog-happy, then the traffic potential for your site may prove to be enormous.
The proper use of one RSS feed in one of my content management systems doubled my traffic, with most of the new users coming from Yahoo, this time last year. Another feed increased my daily traffic another 75%, and brought me additional return traffic as well.
At the time the margin between Yahoo and Google was wider than it is today -- so the potential increase from being in Google boggles the mind.
How to Get Listed
According to the Blog Search Help Page:
"If your blog publishes a site feed in any format and automatically pings an updating service (such as Weblogs.com), we should be able to find and list it. Also, we will soon be providing a form that you can use to manually add your blog to our index, in case we haven't picked it up automatically. Stay tuned for more information on this."
This means that if you're already blogging - and responsibly pinging, you're probably already listed.
If you haven't been blogging, you're in luck. This special brand of Google search is still in Beta, so if you get moving now, you still have enough time to start getting into position. And since the search currently seems to be focused on freshness and relevance, if you keep up the blogging once you start, and you keep your theme narrow, you could still dominate your niche.
Do It Today
The mantra for blogging before was that, proper blogging is a sure fire way to increase traffic, as well as build stronger ties to your end users or clients, not to mention that it is the simplest of the many implementations of RSS.
Now, with all three major search engines paying more attention to both RSS and Blogging, you can get spidered more frequently, get more of your pages indexed more deeply, and be included in more searches.
You have absolutely no time to waste - if you're not blogging already, you need to get started quickly. Many webmasters are hesitating because they haven't been able to find a blog system that fits well with their site, or find the most popular tools too sophisticated for their needs.
There are literally dozens of free resources to help you decide between the standard systems that were originally built for the personal blogger, and the more robust solutions that are aimed at the medium-sized or corporate company - but that's another article.
Whatever you chose, the important thing is to get started blogging today. You'll be missing out on targeted traffic from the most dominant search engine, from the most sophisticated surfers today, and sooner than you know it, the mainstream web.
About the author:
Tinu Abayomi-Paul is the co-owner of Leveraged Promotion, which provides many solutions for companies who prefer to out-source their online promotion needs. At http://blog.leveragedpromotion.comyou can find out more about how RSS, Blogs and Podcasting can increase your online visibility.
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