March 22, 2006

Blog Search: What Is Going On the Web Right Now

Internet, March 22, 2006. Yandex launched a new version of its Blog Search service. To learn what is going on in the Internet right now, just open the main page of the service, which displays blogosphere indicators: hot topics, most popular blogs and blog hosting servers. The service provides comprehensive search – the search database contains close to half a million Russian-language weblogs.

The blogosphere — the corpus of all weblogs — includes all sorts of blogs: some of them are highly popular and have an authority comparable to traditional mass media, others are of interest only to a small circle of the author’s friends. The social importance of the blogosphere is growing: bloggers deliver exclusive news from crisis spots increasingly often; blogs turn into meeting places for people with the same views and ideas and become sources of social movements; newspapers and magazines adopt blogger slang. The possibilities to share information quickly and easily, ask for advice, or chat with friends keep drawing new Russian web users into the blogosphere.

“Yandex Blog Search is a tool for navigating public opinions on the Web,” says head of the service Roman Ivanov. “We put up a beta version of the service slightly more than a year ago, and over the testing time we ensured the speed and comprehensiveness of the search and confirmed that it enjoys high demand from a broad audience. Considering the social importance that the blogs have for many Internet users, today we put a link to blogs.yandex.ru on the portal home page and all search pages of Yandex, placing Blog Search on the same level with information services like News (Yandex.News) and Dictionaries (Yandex.Slovari) and acknowledging their equality.”

The Blog Search Service now allows not only to find views and opinions, but also to survey sentiments of Internet users. The main page displays regularly updated blogosphere indicators, showing what bloggers write about (the most popular categories/tags), what interests them (hot queries), and where they write (popular blog hosting servers). The main page of the Blog Search also shows authors that are the most popular with the users of Yandex.Lenta — a service designed for reading blogs. For example, in the morning of March, 22 people actively wrote and read about Ruhnama — Book of the Soul (after Turkmenistan President Niyazov’s statement about guaranteed divine salvation) and the movement to defend Scherbitsky (the driver prosecuted for the death of governor Yevdokimov), took an online quiz “What dream wants to be yours?”, and quoted the joke “because the gladiolus”.

In addition, the search itself has become more accurate and convenient: relevance is improved, the search finds not just entries but also RSS feeds that correspond to a query, and there is a new “cashed copy” option enabling to view full entry text on Yandex page. Advanced search now makes it possible to search blogs and forums separately, by category, and to find entries by links they contain.

Blogs often feature opinions about purchased goods and comments on commercial services. The analysis of search queries in the Blog Search shows that many people use the blogosphere to survey the public opinion about specific goods or services. The clear business nature of some queries in the service confirms its efficiency as an advertising platform, so the customers of Yandex.Direct (the system of context advertising) now have a possibility to place their ads at the Blog Search.

Today, the blogosphere of the Russian Internet contains close to 500,000 weblogs. The Blog Search processes between 100,000 and 160,000 new entries daily, and this amount grows steadily. Livejournal.com (US) remains the most popular blog hosting server with around 25% of new entries. Yet, although its Russian counterparts Liveinternet.ru and Diary.ru are still behind, evidently, most Russian-language blogs will be hosted on Russian hosting servers in the near future. Altogether, Yandex Blog Search covers more than 45 million entries in various blogs and forums.

Contacts:
Elena Kolmanovskaya, Chief Editor
Michael Ushakov, Head of Yandex PR
Phone: +7 495 739-70-00
Fax: +7 495 739-70-70
E-mail: pr@yandex-team.ru




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