How to Search News and Blog Sites

If you want to find the latest news or blog buzz on a specific topic, you can use special search engines to zero in on only the most relevant results. Major search engines such as Google offer vertical search engines that are devoted to only news or blog sources.

Searching for news online

Similar to running an image or video vertical search, you can click a News link on the major search engines near the search box to find news articles. The search engines consider a “news” site to be a site that has multiple authors and frequent postings. Additionally, Google requires that news sites have at least four numbers that aren't a date in their URLs. (So your company’s News page that shows your own press releases probably wouldn’t qualify.)

In Google, the News vertical search engine only keeps articles published within the last 30 days. If you want to search for any news older than that, you can use Google’s news archive search. Google’s news archive indexes full-text content dating back to about 1800. (Google partnered with organizations such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time, the Guardian, and The Washington Post, and massive data aggregators including Factiva, LexisNexis, and HighBeam Research, to obtain their information.) You can click News Archive Search on the Google News search page, or go to http://news.google.com/archivesearch to search Google’s news archives.

Searching the Internet for blogs

Blogs, which is short for Web logs, are rising in importance in online marketing. Though still new, these social marketing communities allow individuals to publish articles, comments, images, videos, and more as part of a running conversation online. A mention of your company with a link to your Web site on a well-read blog can potentially bring hundreds or thousands of people to your site. Because you generally have no warning when something like this might occur, such a sudden spike in traffic, though welcome, might overwhelm your server’s capacity.

On the flipside, you might be reviewing your server logs and find that your site had nine times the normal traffic at 11:22 this morning, and you’d like to know why. The cause may have been someone’s blog post, and you want to know what it said.

If there’s a blog (or two or twenty) for your industry, it’s a good idea to subscribe to it to keep your ear to the ground. You’ll get to know more than just information; you’ll also get to know the people in your industry. Think of it as passive networking and market research; plus it will help you figure out who the authoritative voices are in your industry. If every blog links to Blog A, it's a good bet that Blog A is someone you should be paying attention to. Blogs are also a great way to find out what people think about your industry.

You can search through blogs by going to blogsearch.google.com and searching as you would through any vertical. Your results contain links to blog sites only, and you can even isolate posts that were only published in the last hour, last 12 hours, last day, or within a range of dates.

You may also find other blog searches helpful: Yahoo’s is www.ysearchblog.com, Microsoft has one at blogs.msdn.com/livesearch, and there are plenty of others (to find them, do a search for blog search).

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