Blogging On Google Alerts Not Crawling For Blogs

    September 22, 2005

Many people get Google news alerts. They’re pretty simple. You pick your topic, say the timely subject of hurricanes. When hurricane stories appear, you get an email. You can pick the frequency upon which they appear and whether or not the alert scoura just the news or the entire web.

But Google is receiving a bit of criticism on this matter. David Berlind at the “Between the Lines” blog over at ZDNet noticed a few problems, namely that Google alerts don’t include blogs, which is interesting in and of itself. With millions of blogs and even more blog readers, one would think that some would be relevant sources of information. Berlind points out though that the sheer volume and rate at which blog entries are posted could also present a problem.

There could be another part to the puzzle too. Blogs tend to be incredibly subjective and rather unpolished. While some blog entries like Berlind’s column sounds like journalistic editorials (because that’s what it is), most blogs are no where near. Many blogs are personal diaries or ranting editorials about one’s shoes or some other momentary irritability.

Very few, in the scheme of things, have information presented in a coherent manner that would be likened to news. I personally follow political blogs and very few provide real news. Many are a quick snippet from a news story and then a 2000 word rant. Not that some don’t and probably could easily be included but it would be difficult, one would think to distinguish between the two.

Now, Berlind does point out, that while blogs may not be in the news, they should be included in the web, but since the vast majority of blogs are essentially electronic diaries, it’s debatable it would worth the effort to crawl them all for Google’s purposes in order to find something for the alert system.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.