Overnight, Google has made the blog search space a little more competitive with their introduction of a new blog search engine. New ones are also coming soon from Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AskJeeves (that last one being the main reason behind their acquisition of bloglines.)
At first look, it seems to work fine. Blogs are easily findable, although it’s not clear what the ranking algorithm is.
One of the thing I’d like to see, however, is for big players like Google to start offering a ping service. At the current time, every major blog search engine seems to be using Weblogs.com as their main alert mechanism. Dave Winer has been extremely generous in providing this service to the community but, now that for profit entities are starting to use it, it’s time for them to step up and provide some help here. Add to the community by offering equivalent services and making them as available as weblogs.com. Another way a company like Google (or Yahoo!, or Microsoft (hey, Scoble, can you get involved here 🙂 ), or…) could help would be to offer free hosting on their server to Dave for the weblogs.com service. They have loads of bandwidth and servers and could provide it as a service to the community.
All and all, a good first start and let’s hope that we’ll see some of the improvements I suggested soon.