Google to fix blog noise problem

Google to fix blog noise problem. (no, that subject isn't flamebait at all!)

Google is to create a search tool specifically for weblogs, most likely giving material generated by the self-publishing tools its own tab. [...]

"The main problem with blogs is that, as far as Google is concerned, they masquerade as useful information when all they contain is idle chatter," wrote Roddy. "And through some fluke of their evil software, they seem to get indexed really fast, so when a major political or social event happens, Google is noised to the brim with blogs and you have to start at result number 40 or so before you get past the blogs." [...]

"They didn't foresee a tightly-bound body of wirers," reckons Stock. "They presumed that technicians at USC would link to the best papers from MIT, to the best local sites from a land trust or a river study - rather than a clique, a small group of people writing about each other constantly. They obviously bump the rankings system in a way for which it wasn't prepared." [...] For Stock and Roddy, the problem is that the resulting degradation in the quality of information makes it even harder to find primary source material. Roddy said the realization came after searching through 500 blog entries to find a primary source. [...]

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19 Responses:

  1. klarfax says:

    Links to primary sources from weblog entries are so common though! I think they're wrong about the lack of that.

    • I agree. At least the better blogs link to the news source.

      And isn't that linkage supposed to increase your Google rank? That is, the blogs that just report stories, instead of linking to them, would be lower in Google's rankings.

      FWIW, I've had Google index my blog's new stories in under 24 hours. And that was when I was using blogger, and not MovableType with all its pings.

      • jfedor says:

        And isn't that linkage supposed to increase your Google rank? That is, the blogs that just report stories, instead of linking to them, would be lower in Google's rankings.

        Um, when you link to a page, it's that page's rank that increases, not your page's rank.

        • Oops. That was poorly phrased.

          Should be "... their Google rank."

          As in, I link to the original source, and that source gets bumped higher on the Google searches for those words.

          In any case, I wonder if the Register author has heard of news.google.com ... that's where I go if I want just straight news on a given topic.

    • sixty4k says:

      Strange, mostly I see one blog links to a primary source, and then every blogger who reads them links to their blog as they comment on the commentary... And thus blog 1 gets big google rank, and on down the web of 'so and so sez this, and I say blah blah...', totally eclipsing the primary source.

      A huge percentage of blogs I look at seem to link almost only to other blogs, with the occasional outside the blogsphere link to seem like they care about a world beyond the blog.

      Exceptions exist, usually in the more tech discussion blogs.

      • jwz says:

        You're reading the wrong blogs, man.

        Lemme guess -- you only ever read articles about "CSS" and "design"?

  2. jfedor says:

    Well, I often just add "-blog" when searching for something. It does filter out most of the garbage.

  3. ciphergoth says:

    I've never hit this problem, I'd be interested to see an example...

  4. elainegrey says:

    i [heart] daypop top 40.

  5. mendel says:

    Not only the Reg's typical erudite reporting, but they even went to the trouble of searching out a politics and linguistics undergrad for an opinion. I tell you, blogs have nothing on established media like the Reg.

  6. zhixel says:

    I don't see what the deal is. I very rarely ever have a problem with blogs in my search results. I guess what I search for on google isn't popular to blog about. I guess I should search for "goth" or "anti war" or "religious cocksucking" more often.

  7. thesliver says:

    There's a kind of corollary to this in the belief that if it exists in electromagnetic storage somewhere in a place navigable on the interweb that it must be able to be Googled.

    How do you prove this?

    If something is not found on Google now, by definition it does not exist and is not findable.

    • spendocrat says:

      There are private subdomains on some of my domains that are never linked to. The problem of keeping them from Google is that you can never make an actual link to them, and have to mangle the address when you're directing people to the site. Techincally the sites are publicly accessible, but it takes a bit of digging.