Google Blog Search is Google’s vertical search engine which focuses exclusively on blog content. While overall usage is probably pretty low, results from Google blog search are starting to appear in Google’s web search as part of their “Universal Search”, more generally known as blended search. Blog content can appear in Google’s standard web search independently of its presence in Google Blog Search. Google’s Chris Pennock, an Engineer with Google’s New York office, discussed how Google Blog Search works at the SMX West search conference.
Moderator:Matt McGee, Assignment Editor, Search Engine Land
Speaker:Chris Pennock, Senior Software Engineer, Blog Search, Google Inc.
Who uses Google Blog Search?
Google Blog Search is used by someone looking for more opinionated or fresher information. Users come may come from Google.com or a blogger looking for information on their own blog. (Google Blog Search also powers some of the information in the WordPress dashboard – Sean).
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One of the nice things about web marketing is the wealth of data available to use in decision making processes. Web marketing data also helps in getting and maintaining management support for SEO activities.
This SMX West session focusing on in-house SEO considered what data to present to management, when to present it and how to best present it. The line-up is an all star cast – two in house SEO practitioners at companies, that among other things, own search engines. As if that wasn’t enough, we also have John Marshall, founder and former CEO of Clicktracks. Rounding up the line-up is Jessica Bowman, a SEO consultant specializing in setting up and guiding in-house SEO programs.
Several Italian SEO practitioners have noted seeing Google search results with snippets about double the normal length1.
Google’s query result snippet (the result summary or description) is usually around 150 characters or so. It may be the contents of a page’s html meta description tag, especially if the tag contains the search keywords, or an abstract created by Google from the page’s content.
I hadn’t seen this behavior in English language Google results until I made a very specific search where I used more than the typical 2 or 3 keywords seasoned searchers type. Searching for google feedburner mybrand server not found (no, Google’s feedburner migration did not go smoothly) I noticed that the 4th and successive results had super long descriptions – around 300 characters or so:
The other evening Camillo Di Tullio, a.k.a. Dr Who, asked me via IM if I was having problems accessing highly trafficked social media websites like Facebook or LinkedIn. In that particular moment, I wasn’t, but his question stuck a particular cord. We’ve seen many downtime issues with major Internet sites lately.
Website downtime, planned and unplanned, presents a company with a reluctant marketing opportunity. After all, investments in search engine visibility and other website traffic drivers are all for naught when a site is no longer reachable. The best a company can do is acknowledge the issue and, where appropriate, attempt a dose of humor while working frantically behind the scenes to insure the problem doesn’t occur again.
What follows is an informal survey of mostly recent “site is unavailable” downtime messages. I conclude with information on keeping website service pages out of search engine results.
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