Google Blog Search – The Memetracker for the Mainstream?

Josh Catone

Google Blog Search has launched a new homepage that highlights trends and groups similar posts in a style similar to Google News or Techmeme. That will make Blog Search much more of a destination.

In the past, I’ve mostly used blog search for news opinion searches on recent topics (since regular Google search works fine at finding older blog posts that I already know exist), and have actually found that Technorati generally provides better results in terms of cutting down the noise and finding the most recent, quality posts. By adding a memetracker, Blog Search becomes much more useful as a daily visit.

But it will only make it into my daily (or hourly) rotation of sites if it can beat the sites that I already visit — namely, Techmeme.

The table below compares the top 10 stories right now on Google Blog Search Technology, Techmeme, and Google News Sci/Tech.

  Blog Search Techmeme Google News
01 iPhone NDA dropped iPhone NDA dropped iPhone NDA dropped
02 iTunes/music rate hike Microsoft Cloud OS LA train crash texting
03 Netflix streams Starz Google Blog Search Studios vs. RealNetworks
04 Studios vs. RealNetworks Netflix streams Starz Netflix streams Starz
05 Microsoft SearchPerks Facebook widgets dead iTunes/music rate hike
06 Flash for iPhone Mac laptop sales Microsoft Cloud OS
07 Microsoft Cloud OS Google Phone sales forecast Microsoft SearchPerks
08 Amazon EC2 Windows CBS Citizen Journalism Firefox/IE stealth mode
09 Cloud computing stupid Skype China surveillance NASA 50th birthday
10 GIMP 2.6 Blizzard bot payout StumbleUpon new features

So, it would seem that all three memetrackers identify more or less the same content. The test will be: 1. how fast they find it, and 2. how well they display it. In terms of display, my money is on Techmeme, which shows far more content on a single page and does so in a more elegant and easier to read manner than does Google’s new property.

Figuring out which one finds and updates content faster will take some testing over the next few days, but if my experience with Google News is any indication, Techmeme will be the winner there, as well (and couple of Google’s top ten stories on Blog Search right now were tops on Techmeme yesterday or the day before — that’s a bad early sign).

Despite its shortcomings, though, Google Blog Search has the potential to reach a far wider, more mainstream audience than Techmeme. Techmeme is mostly read by the early adopter crowd and other bloggers — links there create links from blogs, but don’t generally generate much traffic. Google Blog Search could theoretically send some real traffic (as Google News has been known to) based on the sheer power of the brand behind it alone.

What do you think? Will Google’s new memetracker homepage for Google Blog Search make you visit more often? Does it have a chance to replace Techmeme, Memeorandum, or other established memetracker sites for you? Let us know in the comments.