Opinon: Why blogs are killing Google…
Posted by cascadehush on October 26, 2006
…and why it doesn’t matter.
Google is great. If you are looking for something obvious; something with a unique name.
Google sucks. If you are looking for information about a topic which is an idea but could be expressed in many different terms. You have to guess they type of language people will use to describe it and hope that you can find a reference. And if you want to do an exlusive search (e.g you want to upgrade your Mac Mini but it’s an intel model so you want to exclude all results that are only relevant to PPC models) forget about it. Any kind of boolean search is a lottery that you’ll rarely win.
And this is where blogs make the process even worse.
The number of times I do a web search only to find a bunch of pages that are in the results because of comments in a reply to a blog post. Often these comments either don’t have anything to do with the actual information presented, or represent some side-trail. Old-skool web pages do have an advantage over blogs: they tended to present a coherent set of ideas on a focused topic. Well, the good ones did, anyway.
Why doesn’t this matter?
Eventually someone will come up with a proper search engine that takes into account the meaning of language, rather than the slap-dash approach of relying on words with no account of context. It will also be able to interpret the structure of a web page, so, for example, you could restrict your search to the main body of text on a web-page, or give added weight to pages which feature your search parameters in headings or tags.
In the mean-time, find yourself some good blogs. The next time you want to look for something, don’t search the web, search your favorite blogs and follow the links from there.
While you’re there don’t forget to read through some of the comments. Sometimes they are the best bits, even if they are irrelevant side-trails.