I’m playing around with the Sphere beta. Sphere is a blog search engine with a difference – they seem to aim for relevance at all costs. I’ve shown a screenshot of a Sphere search next to the identical Google blog search, for the term “web 2.0″.
While Google Blogsearch seems to bring back items from online magazines and other media, Sphere ruthlessly eliminates anything that I wouldn’t consider to be a blog. And while Google just provides a list of search results, Sphere breaks out a list of related blogs (though I’m not sure what the relation criteria are) and a list of relevant news articles, keeping them out of the purified list. Pleasantly, Sphere appears to be completely free of spam and splogs.
Clicking on the profile icon beside each blog gives a little synopsis of the blog, with posting metrics and recent links, as seen below:
Sphere also offers the ability to search within a particular blog or site, which would often be useful for me when I know I’ve seen a post but can’t find it in a particulat blog.
All in all a pretty nice first impression. Sphere promises, and delivers, a relevant list limited to blogs only. My only negative comment is that I don’t see an RSS feed anywhere. Given the recent problems with splogs, a clean list of relevant information would be excellent as an RSS feed.