I have been trying a number of blog search engines recently.
I have subscribed to searches for the same terms in Technorati, Ice Rocket, PubSub and Sphere.
Sphere is the newest player on the blog search engine block, only coming out of beta last weekend. The search is adequate – I searched for “technorati blocked by China“, a story I broke here and was heavily linked to and quoted as a result, but my post on this is not found by Sphere. The searches I subscribed to using Sphere again didn’t return as many results as the other search engines and did contain some spam!
PubSub produced the lowest number of results of the four compared and often the results were late i.e. they were found by the other search engines much earlier (often days earlier).
Ice Rocket produced by far the most results of any of the search engines but those results were full of spam – finding the real information amongst the spam was difficult!
And Technorati was still the best of the four. Very timely results and very little spam.
It is always advisable to use more than one blog search engine for subscribed searches. In this scenario I would advise using Technorati and Sphere. Although Sphere doesn’t yet have as many results as the others, it does appear to be improving.
Also, I had an issue with Sphere earlier in the week so I contacted the CEO, Tony Conrad – he replied to my email and had Steve Nieker the CIO follow up – it is great to see companies getting directly in touch with their users in this way.
Ice Rocket needs to seriously address the spam problem it has and PubSub, I’m sorry to say, looks like it is no longer at the races.