So I’m here at Web Search University. Yesterday I gave a presentation on Information Trapping. I covered, among other things, blog searching. When I was finished Jeremy H came out of the audience to chat. Jeremy is an engineer at Google and the terrific guy who first told me about the change in Google’s daterange: syntax.
“So why didn’t you mention Google Blog search?” he asked.
“Because it’s got so much spam in it,” I answered, ever the diplomat.
He asked me how I was sorting the results, and I said by date. Because if you’re information trapping you want the most recent stuff, not necessarily the most relevant stuff. And since the only options were most recent or most relevant, what could you do?
Aha, said Jeremy. How about using the links on the left? On the left of a Google Blog Search result page, there are several links to narrow results to a specified time frame — last hour, 12 hours, whatever. But isn’t that like a date search? I asked.
In fact, it isn’t. Jeremy explained that when you narrow your search by time using the links on the left, the results from that time span are sorted by relevance. In other words, you’ll still get results by relevance, but only for the time span you specified.
I had no idea I could use the left nav that way. That might be a great way to dodge spam on Google Blog Search, especially when you’re testing queries for information trapping. The only downside is that this particular sorting option isn’t available on Zuula.