blog: News Search Blog

The purpose of news search tools is slightly different than the purpose of normal search engines. In a typical web search the user is probably looking for the most accurate content that is precise to their search. With news search, I feel that it might be worth it to lose some precision in the search to insure the latest updates as they happen. All too often news that is only hours or even minutes old is not relevant anymore. The normal means for a search engine (robot every x hours) just doesn't work for news. In a sense the way I think of Google (and other) News Searches is that they are large RSS mashups from the most trusted news source. Even if an iReport on can still cause waves in the stock market.

A random idea of how much the internet has grown today, including news forms is Google's 10th anniversary search tool that lets you do a 2001 Google search. To compare to one of the huge issues today, a search for this years presidential candidates brings up 158,000 results for John McCain, 671 for Barack Obama, and 0 for Sarah Palin.

In our exercises we looked mostly at Yahoo, Google, and Altavista tools, I found that I like Yahoo for basic news the best because it is in a format that is easy to read when looking for general news. It's just like browsing an online newspaper, I think Google's interface is too hectic and spread out. Yahoo News also does a better job with media (photos and videos) which I think is important for people looking for the latest and greatest content as well.

One aspect of the Google News Search that I love though is the timeline. Interestingly Google just added the timeline feature to their revamped Google Blogs search. At some point I wouldn't be surprised to see Google Blogs and Google News integrate some how, this is the direction the internet is going with the power of new media. With Google starting to establish an authority system like Technorati (who must be nervous about Google's changes) the information that can be gained in the blogosphere is very complimentary to the news search. Why not have an opinions from the blogosphere link under each story?

Overall I think I will focus mostly on Google News for specific searches and Yahoo News for broad searches but I am most excited about the upcoming lecture about news alerts because I have just started using Google Alerts and they are great for getting news and information ASAP (from web, news, blogs and all searches).

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