Last week, Dave Winer, Doc Searls, and some other A-List Bloggers suggested that Google may separate weblogs from other types of web sites when returning search results. This would mean that, for all intents and purposes, Google would be creating a weblog-specific search engine, similar to the one that we envisioned in the article The Internet Needs a Search Engine Driven Off RSS Feeds.
This original CTDATA.com article generated a tremendous amount of flow from other weblogs. The developers of Feedster and rssSearch also referred to this article as being critically important to their respective decisions to build their search services.
If Google actually removed weblog content from its general search results, we think it would not have as much of an impact on A-List weblogs as it does on smaller weblogs, like CTDATA. A-List weblogs have, by definition, a critical mass of regular readers. These weblogs have also developed a tendency to link to each other; Many of the authors of the technology-related weblogs know each other and support for each other in a "web-of-trust" sense.
On the other hand, sites like CTDATA get a lot of their traffic from search engines like Google, AllTheWeb, Yahoo!, AOL, and MSN. It's clear from reviewing our referer logs that upwards of 25 percent of our daily traffic comes from casual Internet users using these search tools to locate information about recent news topics that interest them. For examples, look for references to the CTDATA web site in the Google search results for lance armstrong separation, Naudet film, and Trenton post office.
Many of these casual Internet users seem to go to search engines, type a phrase, and follow the search results. These users will probably never look at the results under a "Weblogs" tab, if one existed on Google. Yet, we would not be disappointed if users stopped coming to us for information about Lance Armstrong's marriage. There are many sites that are more informative, if you require such information.
On the other hand, CTDATA.com is both a weblog and the main corporate web site for Chatham Township Data Corporation. As such, we want at least some content from this site to appear in search engines' general results. So, if Google and other search sites segregated weblogs from their general search results, we would probably separate the CTDATA weblog from the CTDATA "brochureware" content.