Europe-Focused Blog Search Engine Twingly Goes Into Private Beta

Speaking compulsively, the blog search engine for Europe that I wrote about in January is only in private beta. You can sign up for an invitation on the home page or go here for a direct invitation (the first 2,000 submissions).

Twingly has several features that make it an attractive bike. First, they have a “no-spam” search that searches only blogs that Twingly considers to be real blogs. This is a whitelist approach that produces fewer results, as most blogs are not included, but spam is virtually eliminated. Twingly currently has 450,000 blogs allowed and adds another 1,000 a day.

Instead of trying to index all existing blogs and then remove spam using blacklists and other methods, they limit the blogs that follow what seems cool. They started with a shortlist of popular blogs and then started based on links to other blogs. The very good assumption is that good/real blogs will not contain links to spam blogs. The result is a whitelist of truly indexed blogs – all others are ignored.

Searches can be sorted by date (which is standard for blog searches), number of inbound links (equivalent to the Technorati experience), or by TwinglyRank, which is a combination of keyword relevance, number of links, number of user opinions, date, and time of publication and what a secret sauce. Users can also perform language-specific searches in any of the 29 supported languages   (31 below, but are not yet accurate enough to implement them).

Twingly already has a product: a large screen saver that shows blog posts on a world map as they are written. The new search engine uses some of the back-end technologies that they developed for the screen saver, especially their ping server (see our ping server review here) and the existing blog index.

Founder Martin Källström says that in addition to the consumer-focused search engine, they will also partner with leading news sites to view blog posts related to news content. This is something Sphere and Technorati have been successful in the past, and the company can view revenue-sharing transactions on additional pages. Content providers like it because it encourages blogs to link to their content (to get a link). Twingly may not be able to compete with Sphere and Technorati for U.S. partners, but claims that it already has 44 directors in major European publishers and generates 100 million releases per month.

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