Heads up! So what is Sphere? And what is so much better about it?
Sphere works better than other blog search I've seen, plain and simple…. when a Searchblog author goes off topic and rants about, say, Jet Blue, that that author's rant will probably not rank as high for "Jet Blue" as would a reputable blogger who regularly writes about travel, even if that Searchblog author has a lot of high-PageRank links into his site.
Think Blog Rank, Instead of Google’s Page Rank. The company has also taken a few steps to out-smart the spammers, and tend to push what seems like spam-blog way down the page. Not censuring but bringing up relevant content first. They have pronoun checker. Too many I’s could mean a personal blog, with less focused information.
Sphere is a new blog search engine that quite frankly blows everything, and I mean everything, I’ve seen out of the water in terms of relevance. Until now, no one has come up with a way to properly sort blog posts by relevance, and the general default way of showing results is “reverse-chrono”, which simply puts the newest stuff at the top. Sphere appears to have solved the problem, or at least taken big steps in the right direction. Their approach involves three key algorithms – an analysis of links into and out of a blog, an analysis of metadata around a post (links, post frequency, length of posts, etc.), and something Tony calls their “secret sauce”, which is content semantic analysis to filter out spam and to understand what a blog post is talking about. Result sets show only two posts per blog on the first page, so no one blog can dominate a category…
Their technology seems far more splog (spam blog) resistant than many of the other engines. They don't actively filter it out, but the spam blogs end up being ranked so low that you rarely encounter them. That sounds like the right approach to me.
BusinessWeek's Stephen Baker interviews Tony Conrad and Mary Hodder (mp3 audio / podcast)
Looks interesting. 🙂 FWIW: I found this through SEOData Blogosphere keyword.