Thursday, March 19, 2009

Google Blog Search is a Misnomer

Last week I saw one news item in passing that seemed to confirm my previous post about Twitter, and that was the news that Twitter Search is about to overtake Google search. At least that is what I thought it said, but it seemed so unlikely that I just dismissed it. Later, when I went back and looked again I discovered that the headline breaking news is that Twitter Search is about to overtake Google Blog Search.

I have tried to use Google Blog Search a couple of times and found it to be completely useless. It seems to order search results in time rather than by relevance. Others have complained about this as well. For example, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch made the same complaint when the service debuted in 2006. It was only after a conversation last weekend that I came to realized that the point of Google Blog Search is to provide search results in time order rather than in relevance order (in practice, you can sort by relevance or by time, but the relevancy order seems to be heavily influenced by recency).

Which brings me to my point. When I think of Google Search I think of the wonderful way that it always shows me relevant results in the first page. By ordering results by recency, the name Google Blog Search certainly does not explain its purpose and is thus a confusing misnomer. Ultimately the name dilutes the Google brand. I cannot offer any good suggestions, but Google Blog Search should change its name to something that clearly explains what it is for.

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