June 01, 2009

Google Gets Serious About Blog Search. Look Out, Lijit!

When I met with the Lijit team in Boulder earlier this year, they asked an important question around brand loyalty. While I was already a user of Lijit, did I feel a loyalty to their brand over others? I thought a bit, and answered honestly, that I didn't (or at least not much). I said that if Google were to deliver an equal or better product to theirs, they were already the trusted name in search, and I would at least give them a shot. Today, Google has done just that, taking an element from Blogger In Draft, and releasing it into the wild. It's one of the many steps required to complete the marathon I told you about last week.

As Blogger announced today, the new Search Box gadget searches not only your own posts, but Web pages you link from your blog and blogs in your list (like a blogroll). This is quite comparable to Lijit's offering (see right sidebar), where users can search my blog, my social activity, and my blogroll.

I haven't yet installed the Google Blog Search gadget on my own blog yet, partly due to the fact I am using an older template, and don't yet want to break what works. But you can see the widget in action on Product Manager Rick Klau's blog on the right side.

Searching Rick Klau's Blog for FTP

Searching Links from Rick Klau's Blog for FTP

Searching the Web for FTP

For example, searching his blog for "FTP" displays the results in line on the blog without a pop-up window or going to a new page. I can click "Linked From Here" to see pages that have linked to Rick that also mention the term "FTP", or lastly, I can search "The Web" at large.

It is an elegant solution, so far as I can tell.

So what does this mean for Lijit? Lijit is striving to find a way to measure influence, as well as to develop an advertising network that is trusted for bloggers that use its products, so this doesn't mean the mighty Google swoops in and erases Lijit of the face of the Web. But Lijit will have to work hard to better define itself and make it differentiated from what Google offers - especially for Blogger users who haven't yet considered moving to WordPress.