I mentioned the other day that of the three blog search engines - Technorati, Google Blogsearch, Ask/Bloglines - that I tended to use, Technorati had slipped to number three because of its slower response times. When it is part of the flow of what you are doing, you do not want to sit for that little bit longer waiting for it to respond.
I was very interested to see the report from Hitwise that Google Blogsearch has now surpassed Technorati as the most-used blog search engine.
When Google Blog Search launched last year, I wondered if it would surpass Technorati in market share of visits. This week Hitwise data show that the market share of visits to Google Blog Search surpassed visits to Technorati for the week ending 12/23/06. Google Blog Search began catching up to Technorati in October, when Google placed a link to Blog Search on the Google News home page, causing a 168% surge in market share for Google Blog Search over a two week period (week ending 10/14/06 vs. week ending 10/28/06). Since then, approximately 60% of Google Blog Search's traffic has been coming directly from Google News, compared to less than 1% before the change. Blogger Blog Search has been receiving about the same amount of traffic as Technorati, although it has dropped since Google Blog Search took off. [LeeAnn Prescott - Hitwise US: Google Blog Search Surpasses Technorati]A 'Blog' search also appears on the top of the list that is presented when you click on the Google 'more' option on its homepage. Google is one of the biggest flow channels. It a major aggregator of attention, and the choices it makes about what to link to are significant.
Technorati has some nice features, but it may be that even the small effort of using it is too high for some for whom speed of response and being in the flow are more important.
That said, Ask/Bloglines is still my own most often used blog search service. My - untested - impression is that its currency and coverage have been better over the last while. (The same results are surfaced through both the Bloglines and the Ask interfaces.)
A couple of side remarks:
- It is interesting that some worthwhile blog commentary is still not indexed. (I need to find out more about how the 'ping networks' that support some of this work.)
- Speed of response seems to be an increasingly important issue for web users, and one that is an issue for library services based on metasearch or other distributed approaches.