Google Blog Search and Blogger

Oh great. Blogger, apparently, has switched their search engine to the newly released Google Blog Search. And while this service does look immensely cool, and I have little doubt the Google folks will make it so, right now it doesn't work right. From what I can tell, Google Blog Serach, which is currently in beta, only goes back so far in time, and not quite far enough that all my posts are searchable. It's a cool engine, and it allows me to search by blog URL and article title, but if I search, for instance, "Tiger Beefs" in the blog title at the URL for this blog, I get nothing. Yet I'm sure I have an article called just that.

So, fine. I understand that Google Blog Serach is in beta, and may not be doing everything it should be doing at this point. Is there some reason, then, that the Blogger folks decided to make our formerly very functional search engine run on the currently beta, non-fully-functional Google Blog Serach?

I don't know. All I know is, I hope they fix this soon.

About Google Blog Search acknowledges this problem:
"Why aren't my oldest posts listed?

Since Blog Search indexes blogs by their site feeds, it will only include items that have been posted since it started indexing a given blog. For most blogs, that will be around June 2005, or the time at which you submitted your blog for inclusion. We are working on ways to include older posts as well."

This really sucks for me, since my site goes back to May, and because one of my most popular posts is from then. So now, people relying on Google to find anything on this blog from May are screwed, and my site traffic is likely to go down. (So if your looking for my "Disable Spotlight" script, it's here.)

Using regular old Google's advanced search yields far more accurate, if less pretty, results when searching the blog URL by term.

Jeff Harrell, of The Shape of Days, is kind of a Nazi, but I read his site anyway, for the great writing and the occasional interesting post on technology. Recently he had a great writeup about Google Blog Search and the whole idea of tagging blog entries. He's got me thinking again about blog categories. I use categories mainly to organize my site into general chunks that are probably mainly useful mostly to me, so I'll probably keep using them in the sort of general way I do. But his thesis is correct: Tags or categories are kind of irrelevant to anything text-based, as text already contains the information you'd add as a tag, and is so easily searchable. For instance, searching my blog for the term "tag" would, in theory, yield this article, and any other article containing the term. So tagging this article with a "tag" tag would be pointless, because the information is already there.

Now all we need is a good search engine.