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July 23, 2005


Actually, I consider this to be a good test. Counting the links forces you to dive into the methodologies of each service to see if their objective is to unearth every link possible (regardless of whether we agree with it or not). You also end up having to vet the accuracy of the search results. How many of them appear to be dupes? Are they pure dupes, or turning up because of things like link blogs and other RSS feeds? How many of them are actually correct? What about these bots that people have set up that do nothing but watch then specific blogs for anything "CRM" related (just and example) and turn around and spit it out? In my experience, all the services appear to discover new citations. So, I like your test Rick, because it's pretty easy to check the results. I have a new post. How long does it take each service to discover it and any citations of it. With this test, you don't have double check every citation of every historical post. Just the most recent one which is probably pretty representative of how these search services discover all new posts. Then, you can examine each result, see how accurate it is, and report on any cool "condiments."

If I had to come up with a more scientific methodology, I think I'd find ten volunteers and start like this (feel free to improve on it). I'd write three blogs and then ask each of the volunteers to randomly cite those blogs in (a) the text of one of their blogs, (b) in a list of links that appears on the side, (c) then link to my whole blog as a part of their blog roll, (d) make use of some folksonomy tags that I provide to them to see how that impacts the situation, and (e) ask some to ping (automatically, or manually) the blog search services and others not to ping at all. I'd also want them to let me know when that (a)citation scrolls off their home page so I can see if and how that impacts each search engines results. Then, I'd like them to remove the other links as well, warning me just before it happens and then telling me exactly when it happens, and then monitoring the results for any changes. The folks at the different blog search services might have some other suggestions based on what the objectives of their engines are.

David Berlind
Executive Editor

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