May 31, 2006 9:00 PM PDT
Ask.com launches blog search
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Ask.com is launching on Wednesday night a new blog search service that aims to capitalize on the fervent interest in the topics and debates covered by blogs that aren't easy to find on traditional online news sites.
Instead of crawling the Web for blog postings to build an index to search like others do, Ask.com is using the index already created and updated by subscribers to its popular Bloglines site for searching, subscribing to, creating and sharing blogs and news feeds.
"This will reduce (blog) spam significantly" and enable Ask.com to offer fresher blog search results than those offered by competitors, said Doug Leeds, a vice president of products at Ask.com. Search engines that trawl the Web for blog postings aren't necessarily getting the freshest content, particularly given the fact that blogs tend to be speedier posters than traditional media sites, he added.
"Topics (on blogs) are evolving there even faster than on mainstream news," Leeds said. As for Colbert's bit in front of a ballroom full of reporters in April, "without the blogosphere, it never would have been a story," Leeds said. "All of that is dependent upon search."
On Ask.com's new blog seach site, users can sort results by relevance, most recent and popularity in Bloglines, which Ask.com bought in February 2005 when it was still known as Ask Jeeves.
Users can also create their own feeds of posts based on topic or search and can subscribe to the searches on Bloglines and on rival blog or RSS feed readers from Google, Yahoo and others. They also can post searches to Bloglines or Yahoo's Delicious or Digg.
The new blog search features will be integrated into Ask.com's Bloglines site, which competes with Technorati, among others.
The growing popularity of blogs has made the Web diary and consumer pundit sites an obvious marketing opportunity for publishers and search engines seeking revenue boosts from the surge in online advertising.