Yahoo blog search

I read on some RSS feed or other this morning that Yahoo has launched a blog search service. I filed it away in my head for later use and went about my morning. Now that I’m at work and I’ve got time to kill a free moment, I went looking for it.

If it’s accessible from Yahoo’s front page I sure can’t find it, so I resorted to a Google search for it. The first thing I found was the Yahoo Search Blog, which I first misread as “Yahoo Blog Search”. I was momentarily thrown off by the search box at the top of the page but quickly realized it wasn’t what I wanted.

A few results further down, I found what I was looking for. Apparently it isn’t really a blog search at all. That is, it returns search results from a few blogs, but you have to search them via Yahoo News Search. In addition to the regular news search results, you get a sidebar with a few results from blogs. The “More blog results” link at the bottom of the sidebar takes you to a a different results page which is, finally, the blog search results you wanted.

I’d be interested to learn why they’ve lumped blog searches in with news searches. I’m guessing that they’re currently only indexing news/current event-related blogs, but it isn’t made clear when you’re searching (although I guess you could infer that from the fact that you can only search them via the news search). As far as I can tell, there isn’t a way to search only blogs — you have to search news and then click through the “more blog results” link to narrow down your search.

Note that news.yahoo.com is the Yahoo News site and news.search.yahoo.com is their news search. The blog search results are served up from blog.news.search.yahoo.com, but if you just go to that site you’re redirected back to the regular news search. I also discovered you can get a stripped-down search page without all the clutter at search.yahoo.com. I’m sure this naming scheme made sense to someone at some point, but it just makes my head hurt. Also, the Yahoo Search Blog mentioned above breaks with convention and is located at the not very intuitively-named ysearchblog.com.

On one of the search results pages I saw a second sidebar called My Web 2.0, which really confused me until I realized that they were talking about version 2.0 of something called “My Web” which, at a glance, looks like a del.icio.us clone.

Comments

kscaldef says:

Jeremy probably says better than I can why they combined “news” and “blogs”:
http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/005516.html.

As of a couple months ago, we were indexing something like 8 million blogs.

I’m really surprised you think the domain structure is odd. What would you recommend? Remember that there are over 100 yahoo services. (Although, I agree that the Y! Search Blog url is very odd. I think it’s also available at some more normal Yahoo url, but I don’t remember it currently.)

kchrist says:

What I think is odd is the how every search category is given its own hostname, and the hierarchy they’re put in (I expect to see podcast.blog.news.search.yahoo.com next). I thought the common third-level name for search results might be for the purposes of cookie setting, but with everything still in the yahoo.com second-level domain, this isn’t necessary. What’s wrong with news.yahoo.com/search? I suspect someone in the depths of Yahoo is spending a lot of time keeping this stuff organized.

But wait! While I was writing this I see that the main search form on news.yahoo.com may has changed. The drop-down list shows “All News” and “Yahoo News Only”, where before it said “All News and Blogs”. Subsequent page loads show that I’m getting both occasionally, I assume due to load balancing and some servers not being updated yet. I’m also seeing search results also being served by search.news.yahoo.com, which appears to be the same as news.search.yahoo.com.

I’ve also noticed that blog.news.yahoo.com goes to something called Yahoo Health, while blogs.news.yahoo.com goes to a hurricane Katrina-specific news site. Weird.