Whither Yahoo Blog Search, Darn It?

Steve Rubel notes that Yahoo has apparently pulled the “blog” part of their results from the blog/news search on I went and checked and sure enough, though you can narrow your search to news photos and other multimedia, you can’t search for blog content and you don’t get blog content as part of the search result. Even if you trying going to the URL that used to encompass the blog search ( for example) you get redirected to a news search. Drat.

Steve opines that Yahoo is getting ready to launch a feed reader/search engine, thus the removal from the news results. That would be a vast improvement; one of Yahoo’s blog search problems is that it didn’t appear to index feeds, instead indexing entire blog pages. (So if you were searching for a blog name, you might get dozens of pages from one site who’s listing that name on their blogroll.) A blog search engine that actually searches feeds would help a lot.

I suspect however that anybody who tries to compete with Bloglines has got a tough row to hoe; Ask has quietly taken that corner of the market and built a heck of a tool that it seems like EVERYBODY knows about. When I talk to audiences about RSS, those who have RSS readers use Bloglines. At this moment 57% of my RSS feed subscribers use Bloglines (according to FeedBurner.) If Ask could leverage the awareness of Bloglines a little more into awareness of Ask’s search offerings as a whole, that’d be even better.

For Yahoo to have a successful competitor to Bloglines (which is what they need to be aiming at; I wouldn’t worry too much about the Google Reader) they need to integrate as many of their social/content properties as they can into the reader, either as supplementary results or as “widgets” to be added to the reader. Integrating news search results and directory listings as context to RSS feed items would also be excellent. When I think about a Yahoo reader I think of something starting with basic RSS feed content, then unfolding with additional items from Del, news context from Yahoo News, maybe multimedia from Flickr or Yahoo Podcast. Once feed and context items were chosen, read, and digested, they could “fold down” again into items that can fit into My Yahoo personalized pages, blogs, and other places external to a Yahoo reader.

Hmm. That sounded better in my head than on the keyboard. Trying again: I imagine Yahoo Reader taking all of Yahoo’s content properties and using them for context and analysis — putting everything into a big container. Then slicing off small bits of that content and context and putting in into smaller containers that could be used outside the Yahoo Reader on other Web sites. That’s closer to what I’m trying to say, but it’s early and I haven’t had my caffeine yet.

Categories: News