Inability Of Big Search Engines To Index Blogs Quickly Opens Door To Small Companies

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With the search world dominated by Google, Yahoo and other major companies, the best way in for other companies is to find a niche and burrow in. A cluster of firms have been doing just that for blogging, trying to make search as immediate as much of the writing. The most prominent is Technorati, which keeps pushing up its index and adding new features even as people get more vocal about service issues like the messages that say a search can’t be done or entries that don’t show up. In an overview in today’s paper, the Wall Street Journal notes that Technorati is the only one with enough traffic to show up in July’s Nielsen/NetRatings rankings — 642,000 uniques but still less than 1 percent of Google’s traffic.
Icerocket has intensified its focus on blog search and is becoming more of a go-to resource. (Disclosure: I had some input into Icerocket’s Katrina response as part of my effort to encourage better information flow.) Rafat has noticed that Feedster is fastest with our posts; the Journal says it turned up more results in some tests. Bloglines, which, like Technorati, is having growing pains, didn’t fare well. Daypop is too narrow.
Past performance, the biggest question is the one we have to ask every day: Where’s the money? These services are all free so the business model in most cases calls for creating a strong traffic magnet that can pay off in advertising. Daypop charges anywhere from $0.10 to $10 per 1,000 impressions. Technorati used Google AdSense. Feedster has its own ad network. Is anyone making money? Even better question.

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Update: Just saw that Feedster has a new investor: Mitsui & Co., Ltd., with an eye toward global expansion. No details about the amount of money — or whether the investment is actually cash. The press release sounds almost like a joint venture. (via John Battelle)

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