The Tar Pit

Monday, November 07, 2005

Google News: affirmative action for oldstream media

While researching the internet for information on the jailed Egyptian blogger, I came across a post from the other day called "Google blindspot," by emigre at Iraq Blog Count:

Was just looking about to see to see if anyone'd created a petition for Abdolkarim Nabil Seliman, and noticed a few things.

*Google searching "Abdolkarim Nabil Seliman" returns 0 on the main page, and 2 on google news.

*Searching "Abdolkarim Nabil Seliman" with bloggers blog search tool returns 17 results.

*Searching "Abdolkarim Nabil Seliman" with technorati returns 22 results. All blogs.

Thankfully two semi-mainstream sites picked up on it, otherwise the detention of Egyptian blogger Abdolkarim (Kareem Amer) would be entirely invisible to english readers on the number one world's most used search engine. I dislike google's segregation of blogs for this reason alone. If google wants to create filters, an improvement might be a "blog" option on the main google search page next to the "images" "groups" and "news" options.

I just checked on the progress since then. As of this writing, Google News has 5 posts, Google Blog Search (beta) has 99, and Technorati has 55 posts in English alone.

By the time you click on these links the disparity will be even greater. What's the real point of seperating the blogosphere from Google News, if not to protect the mainstream media from the inconvenience of competition?

emigre's ideas are worth considering. Perhaps rather than setting up an exclusive blogosphere search engine, Google ought to combine its blog and news search features into a single engine that can be segregated internally with a user's Google preferences, if they choose, or fully integrated for those who require more sources of information than the oldstream media can provide.