Google Blog Search Fixes Link Issue But Asks For Additional Help

Dec 22, 2008 • 7:50 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

In early November, I reported an issue with Google Blog Search scanning blogrolls, which was then confirmed later on. The confirmation told us that Google would fix the issue, where Google Blog Search would continue to index and use more than just what RSS feed, but would try to exclude blogrolls and navigational elements of the blog.

The issue was, if you conducted a link command in blog search, such as (which I do all the time to find new posts commenting on posts I write here), Google Blog Search started to show blog posts not mentioning your posts. Why? Cause many blogs out there have this blog on their blogroll and Google considered that post to have a link within their post, but all it was, was a link in the Blogroll.

Since then, Google Blog Search has really made big improvements in this area. I have witnessed it first hand. But it is not perfect and Google knows that. Google is asking for examples of issues with the link command in Blog Search in the Google Groups area. So if you see issues, go to Google Groups and let Google know.

What has Google changed specifically? Jeremy Hylton of Google Blogsearch said:

The basic approach is to analyze each blog to look for text and markup that is common to all of the posts. Usually, these comment elements include the blogroll, any navigational elements, and other parts of the page that aren't part of the post. This approach works well for a lot of blogs, but we're continuing to improve the algorithm. The search results should ignore matches that only come from these common elements. The indexing change to implement it is deployed almost everywhere now.

How is that for transparency?

Forum discussion at Google Groups.

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Michael Martinez

12/22/2008 03:46 pm

They seem to have broken something else in the transition from indexing only RSS feeds to full post indexing. It's no longer possible to bring up many blog posts that I was previously able to find through Blogsearch. I suspect they dumped a lot of data and have rebuilt the index but are not recrawling many old blog posts. It would be nice if they could explain why so many old blog posts are no longer findable through Blogsearch.

Matt Cutts

12/23/2008 09:58 pm

Michael Martinez, example queries where blogsearch isn't returning older blog posts where it might have before?

Michael Martinez

12/24/2008 05:11 pm

Matt, I understand how helpful providing that information would be, but how do I prove that the queries actually showed the posts before? It's not like I can just call up the URLs off the top of my head. I know what I used to be able to find but never really paid attention to the URLs (because I, like so many other people, tend to use search as a navigational supplement). For example, when searching on my own name I now find a much different selection of blog posts than previously. But what were the previous posts? I don't know. When searching for references to my personal sites, I also see different results (and it's not like people blog about those sites every day, so you can see some pretty old posts quickly). This is one of those situations where you don't realize how helpful the bookmarks would be until you can no longer bookmark the sites.

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