Andrew Orlowski at The Register is continuing his rabidly anti-blog stance with an article today on Google’s possible creation of a Blog tab to go along with the images, news and groups tabs. This follows the pattern that groups matched, that of buying the company and using the data to provide a separate meta-data enriched search system.
There are plus points of this idea, from the separation of mindless-link-propagation which can effectively bomb or repaint a search result, though to the idea that searching for anything will get you the site, rather than a tonne of blogs talking about it first.
And here is the rub. I’d agree with this decontamination of Google’s database if I could find effective and conclusive evidence that the database was contaminated to start with. If I search for “Domino’s” I get Pizza and Games. If I search for “I Hate Domino’s” I get two message boards and my own blog (Where someone in comments said that phrase), because the first term is a thing, so you get matches of the things, and the second is an opinion, so you get opinions. The idea of a -blogs option if you don’t want blogs is one thing, but removing the data they give Google is something else.
Second is the separation of blogs from the results, meaning you could just search blogs. This would be useful, the ability to use the entire blogsphere as a kind of eopinions site. But you can now.
Third is also the separation of blogs from the results. First, how do you draw the line? Do you match every url against the blogger database, and if it matches it’s a blog? What about MT, Greymatter, Vellum, Epistula, Blosxom, Radio users? What about Zeldman and Murky and the other sites that are hand-coded? How do you tell if they are Weblogs?
What about the sites that use Blogger for news? How do you tell they aren’t weblogs?
But most of all, this hurts me as a person. My online identity is based around Aquarionics and weblogs who have mentioned Aquarionics. If you search for my name, you will find the fact I defined a specification (Admittedly, it was ESF), you will find that I’m generally not-disliked, and that I have spent the last almost three and a half years writing a weblog, and developing the software that runs it. If you take blogs out of Google’s equation, I vanish.