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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Why Google Blog Search Matters to Your Business

According to Google, Google's Blog Search is "Google search
technology focused on blogs". It includes search engine
results specific to blogs not just in the Blogger.com
community, but across the blogosphere at large. You can
access it at http://www.blogsearch.google.com/


What the Big Deal Is

A lot of people have probably heard about this extra
version of search Google has added and are greeting it with
a big yawn, particularly since it's still in Beta. So what
is the big deal, anyway?

The big deal is that the top search engine in the world,
which was already paying particular attention to blogs in
regular search results, seems to make a subtle statement
with the introduction of blog-specific searches.

Blogs are important enough to warrant their own special
level of search, and not just as an advanced search option,
but in their own search engine.

If search engines are paying attention to blogging that
closely, you should be too -- if you want better search
engine results.

Current fans of blogs will be able to search the freshest
results so that they can see what is being discussed right
now - information that is often as fresh as the news, and
draws upon sources that the media-at-large either doesn't
have ready access to, or interest in.

So to those with even the most obscure interests or
hobbies, a blog search powered by a top search engine gives
ready access to fresh information on any subject that
someone can blog about.

And if a blog doesn't yet exist on these narrow themes? You
can be the one to start the discussion.

Why It Matters to Your Business
Speaking of the media, this is likely to become one of the
many tools that a journalist in the know would use in order
to research a story, or to find out more information about
a company, directly from the people who use its products or
services.

Technorati, is at present, arguably a better tool, but it's
just not as well known as the Google brand. If you're a
power searcher, you already know what Technorati is. But
the key thing to understand is that most consumers - even
B2B consumers - aren't as deeply involved in the internet.

But even those folks know what Google is.

There's an even more obvious advantage to this specialized
search.

Google Blog search has the unprecedented potential to bring
the mainstream surfer into blogging, even more than Yahoo's
RSS Headlines pioneered the start of making RSS mainstream
about a year ago. Why?

While many of your clients will fall instantly in love with
RSS, it's more fair to them to present its possibilities in
a format that's easier for them to digest. It's not as hard
to explain a blog - and if you can't, you can simply tell
them it's a more frequently updated part of your existing
site.

When Google's Blog Search is brought more to the front in
coming months, if your site gets into position to be
visible when more of the internet population becomes
blog-happy, then the traffic potential for your site may
prove to be enormous.

The proper use of one RSS feed in one of my content
management systems doubled my traffic, with most of the new
users coming from Yahoo, this time last year. Another feed
increased my daily traffic another 75%, and brought me
additional return traffic as well.

At the time the margin between Yahoo and Google was wider
than it is today -- so the potential increase from being in
Google boggles the mind.


How to Get Listed

According to the Blog Search Help Page:

"If your blog publishes a site feed in any format and
automatically pings an updating service (such as
Weblogs.com), we should be able to find and list it. Also,
we will soon be providing a form that you can use to
manually add your blog to our index, in case we haven't
picked it up automatically. Stay tuned for more information
on this."

This means that if you're already blogging - and
responsibly pinging, you're probably already listed.

If you haven't been blogging, you're in luck. This special
brand of Google search is still in Beta, so if you get
moving now, you still have enough time to start getting
into position. And since the search currently seems to be
focused on freshness and relevance, if you keep up the
blogging once you start, and you keep your theme narrow,
you could still dominate your niche.

Do It Today
The mantra for blogging before was that, proper blogging is
a sure fire way to increase traffic, as well as build
stronger ties to your end users or clients, not to mention
that it is the simplest of the many implementations of RSS.

Now, with all three major search engines paying more
attention to both RSS and Blogging, you can get spidered
more frequently, get more of your pages indexed more
deeply, and be included in more searches.

You have absolutely no time to waste - if you're not
blogging already, you need to get started quickly. Many
webmasters are hesitating because they haven't been able to
find a blog system that fits well with their site, or find
the most popular tools too sophisticated for their needs.

There are literally dozens of free resources to help you
decide between the standard systems that were originally
built for the personal blogger, and the more robust
solutions that are aimed at the medium-sized or corporate
company - but that's another article.

Whatever you chose, the important thing is to get started
blogging today. You'll be missing out on targeted traffic
from the most dominant search engine, from the most
sophisticated surfers today, and sooner than you know it,
the mainstream web.

Tinu Abayomi-Paul is the co-owner of Leveraged Promotion,
which provides many solutions for companies who prefer to
out-source their online promotion needs. At
http://blog.leveragedpromotion.com you can find out more
about how RSS, Blogs and Podcasting can increase your
online visibility.

1 Comments:

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