What is happening with Google Blogs?

Those who manage social media accounts will know an unalienable truth; sometimes it is really hard to find relevant content. You have to get creative to keep accounts ticking over and few cleitns can afford to have a designer on tap creating incredible content on a daily basis, it’s probably something you will have access to once a week or fortnight.

So be realistic. How are you going to fill your feed? It makes sense to see it as a person. This kind of approach is at the core of a lot of marketing because it works. Have a visual idea of the audience in your mind and act as that person would do. In social media this is important; who are you trying to talk to, what might they like to read?

Google Blog Search is a vital part of this. Say you’re managing a social media feed that deals with music then being able to search through millions of blogs will a) help you find more interesting and creative content that’s outside the mainstream media and b) connect you with a community already writing about what your brand is interested in. You need to live and breathe a topic if you’re going to talk about it through social media so knowing the key blogs and daily checking up on what’s new and what’s being said not only helps you with ideas for what to write and talk to your audience about but it keeps you in tune with what’s happening in the industry.

(Why is it important to go outside mainstream media? It’s not preference. If you’re populating social media feeds for a whole week then one article in a national newspaper isn’t going to cut it, you need variety. Plus unless you post it on the day it comes out you run the risk of your audience already having seen it. You look dated and less a thought leader, more a thought follower).

Relying on Google Blog Search has been easy, up until now. Blogs appeared in the main search terms alongside Web, Images, Shopping, Maps and News. Say I’m searching for “vinyl records” which fits with one of my commerce brands I could search first in News then see what was being written in the blogsphere.

But see this. Blogs is no longer in the search list.

vinyl records

Nor is it in the drop down menu.

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Either I have to search for Google Blogs and enter the search term from there or I click on my Google Squares, and have to head down below Web, Mobile, Media, Geo and onto Specialised Search to find the right tab. It’s next to Google Scholar for crying out loud!

vinyl records 3

What’s happening here? I always get a bit twitchy when something fairly high profile in the Googlesphere suddenly plummets down a few rungs; quite often it means they’re getting ready to drop it.

It’s probably worth remembering that Google does not suggest I use Google Blogs in the way I do. It’s not there for content for social media managers. Instead it’s there for people to find blogs they like. There’s been much talk about blogs suddenly having a huge drop in their traffic from 14th February. This piece is very good at showing what happened to SlashFilm and other movie blogs. It’s being touted as a weird Google bug that’s something to do with Panda. Google says it affected a small number of sites and it’s now been fixed.

But I wonder if it’s something to do with the shift in the visibility of Google Blogs. It makes sense with the mobile army that Web, Mobile, Media and Geo might be more important than a Specialised search but is Google Blogs really that specialised? It suggests either Google don’t think people are using it or it’s possibly being phased out.

Anyway, I’d be interested to know if people have had the same issue or whether it’s something that’s changed in my profile, or whether it’s similar on other devices.

 

 

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