Google has added to its menu of search alternatives the option to search through the ever-popular online journals called Web logs, or blogs.
The new search service, which went live on Wednesday, is in test, or beta, form, and can be accessed through a variety of Web addresses, including http://www.google.com/blogsearch and http://search.blogger.com/.
"Google is a strong believer in the self-publishing phenomenon represented by blogging, and we hope Blog Search will help our users to explore the blogging universe more effectively, and perhaps inspire many to join the revolution themselves," a frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) page on the new service reads (http://www.google.com/help/about_blogsearch.html).
The new service doesn't limit its searches to Google's own Blogger service, and the index is continually updated and includes blogs written in English and other languages, including French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese, according to the FAQ.
Users can do basic searches entering keywords or they can do advanced searches in which they can specify certain parameters, such as searching within a specific blog or only blogs written in a particular language or authored by a specific person, according to the FAQ.
The company's new blog search also gives users the option of subscribing via syndication feeds, such as RSS (Really Simple Syndication) or Atom, to search results. This means that if someone searches for "Hurricane Katrina," Google's blog search lets him add a feed in his news aggregator of choice, such as Bloglines, and be alerted whenever Google's blog search indexes blog postings that match the query term "Hurricane Katrina."