in on blogging

the blog searchengine experiment (tag=actnow)

so, i’m having a bit of a play around with some of the new and not so new blog search engine offerings. There are lots of ways to compare them, but I’m just going to start with one. How long does it take before a blog post is indexed and searchable.

I’m going to test it with the ActNow post I wrote earlier today (mostly because I want to see if other people are blogging about it – come on, you know you want to).

I’ve just run my first test at 11.30pm on Wednesday night (eh, I sooo should be in bed). Here are the results:

Technorati - [updated 1.30pm 11 May 2006] not found – ok, now this is weird. Earlier, my post was found. Now, it seems to have gone missing in action. Bizzaro. Stay tuned for more. Previously, found (11.30pm 10 May 2006), plus about 5 other posts that reference actnow.com.au. Last check 7.06am 11 May 2006 – no change.

Sphere - not found (first check: 11.30pm 10 May 2006). They still doesn’t know I exist. They have Grant’s post though. And only that. (Interesting, they don’t know Trevor Cook exists either… I’m less with the miffed now). Last check 7.06am 11 May 2006 1.30pm 11 May 2006

Gnoos (beta) – [updated] found (7.06am 11 May 2006). Looks like the post was indexed overnight. Annoyingly, it is putting Planet HCI’s link to my site above the actual site link, but that’s not a major drama. (previously:11.30pm 10 May 2006 not found. Now Gnoos does know I exist… the post just hasn’t hit the index yet. Gnoos found Trevor’s post though. That’s all.)

The Australian Indexfound, with one other (Trevor’s)

Feedtagger - nothing found. Annoyingly (in this case) I had to choose a location before I could put in a tag to search… it didn’t come back with anything. (Not even a message to say it couldn’t find anything). Last check 7.06am 11 May 2006 1.30pm 11 May 2006.

AustralianBlogsnothing found. And, what’s with the search results page? I thought I’d hit a wrong button and gone off to another site or something… how about you re-skin that page so that it’s less red and more AustralianBlogs? Last check 7.06am 11 May 2006 (search was VERY slow at this time)1.30pm 11 May 2006

Ansearch - not found. wow! I’m impressed with these search results. Ansearch has found pages that I’m not sure it was even meant to find! There’s not a blog amongst them though. Last check 7.06am 11 May 2006 1.30pm 11 May 2006

OK. I’ll try to update first thing in the morning. I have an early flight to Canberra though and probably not able to get online much throughout the day.

Not sure if I’ll be able to check again throughout the day. Actually, I’m not really expecting a significant change in results within the next 24hrs (although, I could easily be wrong).

Feel free to update in the comments if you have a moment and the inclination. It’s a good way to check out each of the sites.

12 Comments

  1. Hi again – I left you a comment on your previous post on sphere. We’re crawling your blog but have a bug blocking it from being displayed – we’re figuring it out. Appreciate the patience.

  2. Hey Leisa,

    Unfortunately, AustralianBlogs.com.au is merely a low-tech aussie blog bookmarking site. We don’t have any spidering and don’t drilldown to the blog post level (I expect gnoos, sphere and technorati would be much better equipped).

    The rollyo search box would only return the australian blogs currently bookmarked on our site. (If you search for ‘disambiguity’ it would return the tag pages which your blog is listed on).

    As you have correctly pointed out, AustralianBlogs.com.au would have been hopelessly dismal in your experiment. On the other hand, if the experiment was for example “what are the .NET bloggers in Australia talking about?” – we would probably fare a little better.

    BTW, I’ve been meaning to ask – what did you think of the AustralianPodcasts offering?

    Cheers
    Jon

  3. Gnoos is interesting – they have indexed all my posts on Weblog Repository (MUST change that name) but zilch on t’other blog.
    And so far both are only findable by URL. A search for WR by title, interestingly, brings up three posts from You Cried for Night. He he.
    I must look on SearchEngine Watch to see if there are any articles about Technorati and the effects of searching for your own blog…:)
    Let’s face it, how many links are built by our own fair hands after all?

  4. hey John, Tony,

    Thanks for your notes. As I said in my initial post, whether or not my little blog is indexed and how quickly is just one way to measure a search engine, so I don’t want you or anyone else to think that this is a way of deciding which search engine is, wholesale, the best.

    I think there is a whole other post talking more about the various features that some of these sites are offering (in particular Gnoos and Sphere who have a range of different ways of interacting with search results that are worth further consideration).

    John, I have to admit I haven’t had a chance to look at the AustralianPodcasts site yet… will get to that soon (hopefully!)

    Tony – no problems re: no show on Sphere. Happy to help out with the bugsquashing :)

  5. hey Tony.

    um… this is Leisa, not Dan. I’m not sure who Dan is. But he’s not here. (At least, not that I know of).

    I still haven’t been able to find my blog on Sphere, but we’ll give it some time and see what happens.

    I just had a little play with Sphere It… I can’t say that it’s changed my life, but perhaps that will improve as you get more content indexed.

    I found a blog post about the WeMedia conference in London (this one, actually) then I clicked the Sphere It bookmarklet. The posts that came up as a result of the Sphere It query didn’t have anything to do with WeMedia, even though I know there are quite a few blogposts that have been written on the topic (http://technorati.com/search/wemedia)

    I’m not sure if it’s the algorithm or the range of content you have available at the moment, but it’s not quite on the money just yet.

    I hope that’s helpful feedback :)

  6. Leisa, I see “not found” for your ActNow post vis a vis Technorati but it appears to be indexed FWICT. The “avant-garde” tag you bound to the post is currently the top result (see http://technorati.com/tag/avant-garde ). The keyword searches appear to have that post too (for instance http://technorati.com/search/“Fred Hollows Foundation” ). Technorati has had a few, uh, episodes, with the data center this week and that’s cascaded into some odd symptoms (such as drifting search results). Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming!
    -Ian

  7. Leisa – I’m feeling like a regular here at this point. This is a good case study for how not to interact with a user, potential user or perhaps by now, a former user.

    I navigated to your post from secondverse.wordpress.com in which the author, Ryan Freitas, wrote “Dan [read his book excerpt!] brought a particular post to my attention, so I’ll point you to it.” The post link was to your blog and I assumed incorrectly that the author was indeed none other than Dan. OK, one down.

    Your blog is being crawled – not sure why you’re not seeing but I am in Firefox. Hopefully 2 down.

    The sphere it bookmarklet is meant to be used to find bloggers talking about the same topics as you find in a mainstream media article (Time; ESPN; NY Times; CNN, etc). It wasn’t designed to match blog posts to blog posts. That requires a different algorithm which we plan to roll out soon. NTL, we could do a much better job communicating that in our tool section.

    Oh well. We screwed this one up – sorry for all the missteps. TC

  8. hey Ian, thanks for stopping by. Technorati being a little flaky is not all that unusual in my experience, but by the same token, it’s a great reference point to see what people are blogging about :) And, I’ve had excellent customer service experiences (that I think I’ve blogged about before actually).

    Tony – never fear, I’m still stopping by Sphere. I reckon that given time, it will also become a great resource. I’m finding more of my favourite bloggers turning up there all the time :) I think you’re doing a pretty good job engaging in the issues and explaining how things work. I’ve learned a lot about how Sphere works and how it will work in the future, hopefully you’ve learned some stuff too. It’s all good :) (and there are worse people to be confused with than Dan Saffer).

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