Update : dear visitors coming from the Street.com, I'm glad you are here, but tell your sending guest that I'm a bit upset that someone links an article of mine and I can't even read what he's written on his lame website for paying registered members only.
Round one : blog search
Let's search how many link to a weblog we know, say, errrr, my own blog.
- Ice Rocket : 2 results. How insulting.
- BlogPulse : 177 results.
- Technorati : 172 links from 137 sites.
- Google Blog Search : 101 links.
Ice Rocket, despite some very good feedback I read here and there in the blogoworld, is pathetically out of business. Or maybe it just doesn't like me. But it doesn't really matter, since in both case, I just don't like it :)
BlogPulse and Technorati results are very similar. Technorati goes a step further with its counting links and sites, while BlogPulse doesn't filter duplicates out and only counts the number of links.
And finally, Google is a bit late on this (for once I won't officially declare that Google has the truth :) but we can suspect that it may not be indexing the whole blogosphere yet. It would be interesting by the way to know how many blogs are indexed, similarly to BlogPulse and Technorati who claim to index 16 and 17,1 million blogs respectively. Google showed an unexpected entry in its results : today's last post on my own blog. On the plus side, it's nice to be sure that search results are fresh, but I wasn't really wondering if my own site was linking to itself.
Round two : blog entry search
Let's now refine this search to a narrower field. Last week's entry about some guy wearing a Microsoft tee-shirt with WordPress' tag line has received a fair amount of hits, how many linked to it exactly ?
- Ice Rocket : 8 links. How weird, considering previous test.
- BlogPulse : 8 links.
- Technorati : 12 sites.
- Google Blogs : 5 links.
Excuse me Ice Rocket, but here again you're proving your inefficiency. How can you explain that 8 blogs link to an entry of mine while you pretend that only two link to my site ?.
Once again, Technorati and BlogPulse have very similar results. Technorati finds 12 links, but 4 are duplicates from the same site, so we have the same number of links for both search engine.
Now, the funny thing is : results in Google, Technorati and BlogPulse are not duplicates. Indeed, all three make a total of 13 different links. There is a market for some quick search engine that would just aggregate results from these 3 :)
Round three : RSS awareness
As a stat addict who checks every hour every stats you can think of, adding above search results in a feed reader is the quickest way to know when a new blogs links to you. (Or writes about something you're into, but we're only discussing ego topics here)
- Ice Rocket : I couldn't be bothered to do some test again with them.
- Technorati : you can make any search a "watch list", in which an RSS feed is embedded. Too bad it's limited to 15 items.
- BlogPulse : RSS icon can be found right in the results page, and feed includes first 50 items.
- Google : while not clearly linked from the page results, an RSS or Atom feed is available, and contains up to 100 items.
Technorati stays way behind its competitors, and Google wins easily this round. At the moment, I would still prefer BlogPulse results though, since it seems to be indexing more blogs, but there is no doubt here that Google will catch up soon.
Round four : time response
Ah ! I had to throw my two cents into the current "Technorati's dead" debate.
To be honest, I was prepared to write something like "I'm still waiting for Technorati results", but I've been lucky, or maybe they've been upgrading their hardware : response time was acceptable. Far from being lightning flash, but at least it didn't end with some "Sorry too many requests" page. Blogpulse was still quicker though.
And as for Google, oh my … I had to hit "Refresh" a few time just to be sure it was not loading a page from my browser's cache. Search results simply appear while your finger is still releasing the Return key.
Round five : extra features
While I'm at it, let's have a look at bells and whistles. On this matter, Technorati and BlogPulse have interesting features, mostly about profiling weblogs that are returned in search results. BlogPulse wins here, with an interesting Blog Profile (see mine).
This is undoubtfully where Google can improve things here. I'm not sure why, but while I like their default minimalist search results for general topics, I want more when it's about blogs. I want trends, keywords, ranks, pictures, neighborhood. I want distracting and fun things.
It will be interesting to see how Google is going to improve their Blog Search, and how Technorati will have nightmares or not about it.
I've been using BlogPulse for a few months now, and I'm still thinking this tool is the most interesting and fun one.
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