I have been using the (related) blog search systems from ask.com and bloglines.com the last few days. I had pretty much settled down to using Technorati.com and blogsearch.google.com. I am impressed enough to use the Ask/Bloglines offering for the next while.
Well, it's finally time for a tasty collision: introducing Blog & Feed Search, which combines the rich data of Bloglines and the search technology of Ask.com. Like peanut butter and chocolate, Bloglines and Ask Search Technology compliment each other to solve some key challenges in building a great blog search engine: finding rich, diverse, and timely information published every minute on the blogosphere, without getting overwhelmed with a ton of low quality content. [Ask Blogs and Feeds]They offer the option to rank in three ways: date, popularity, and relevance. Relevance, they say, is a combination of the first two. Popularity appears to depend on subscription and related data in Bloglines. They are leveraging this 'intentional' data - data from user choices - to help with ranking. This is another example of the recognition of the importance of good ranking, and of the importance of 'popularity' data in supporting it.