The long awaited Ask.com Blog Search Engine has finally launched. There are two iterations: One for Ask.com in the form of another right side option. The other within Bloglines.com. The Ask.com blogs and feeds search is directed more towards general users. The Bloglines versions offers more advanced options for “prosumers” as Kaushal Kurapati from Ask.com called them in our preview call.
Key features include the use of Ask.com “expert rank” which breaks the web into communities and defines subject specific link popularity. This is combined with Bloglines.com subscription data to determine relevance in blog and feed search results.
Another key feature is the quality of content. Ask.com Blogs and Feeds search is available in 20 languages with 4-6 million articles indexed per day. There are 1.5 billion articles indexed overall. Blogs and feeds that are indexed only include the feeds that Bloglines users have subscribed to.
In the Ask.com blog and feed search results, the binoculars preview option is listed below the search results snippet along with drop down menu options for subscribing to the feed with your favorite feed readers. Another drop down menu lists popular social bookmarking services. These features are similar to the RSS feed button options and the social bookmark tool offered on the TopRank Blog Marketing Tools page.
So far I like Ask Blogs and Feeds search. The search results are a lot more relevant than Sphere. It will be interesting to see how it compares to Technorati, Feedster and Google Blog Search though. Those services are not limited to a certain subscriber base like Bloglines, but they also have issues with blog spam. It’s a bit of a tradeoff.
Looks like the Ask blog search feature is under a bit of a heavy load right now. Hopefully they’ll be doing better in the am.
[Update: I just tried again and the blog and feed search is working just fine.]
Michael Arrington has a post on Ask.com blog search over at TechCrunch where he shares his thoughts on the issues of relevancy with blog search. Ask.com has posted their own blog and feed search details as well.