It seems that after a brief suspension, Google is once again including bloggers as sources after previously removing them from Google News.
Google, often known for experimenting everything to the “nth degree,” seems to have made up its mind that separating blogs and news sites was not a good idea after all.
Despite launching a blog search engine designed primarily for–well–blogs, Google seems to be recognizing that bloggers are not merely giving their second hand opinion of the news, but often times breaking it to the world as well.
TechCrunch, a weblog started by Mike Arrington commands a position that is probably envied by most tech journalist. Often spilling the inside info before most technology news sites have a chance to read the latest from the rumor mill, Arrington’s blog is often cited faithfully by those in the “web 2.0 geek industry.”
Ironically, not even the ever so secret Google can escape the eyes and ears of TechCrunch, who previously broke the news about the search engine king’s plans to out do Facebook (which must infuriate Eric Schmidt). Nonetheless, TechCrunch is now an official source for Google News.
But it is not just tech blogs that are slowly being included in the Google News index. Political blogs are as well.
Although Hot Air usually regurgitates news often played out in the press (which admittedly most bloggers do), they have surprisingly been publishing original reports, ranging from interviewing a presidential candidate to even visiting Iraq.
Other blogs such as the Democratic Underground, the Counterterrorism Blog, etc. are also being added again to Google News, respectively, after a brief disappearance. Google seems to be courting these “heavy weight bloggers” in an attempt to beef up its News page.
As more and more bloggers become adept at breaking, reporting or creating original stories, we may see the line between bloggers and journalists becomes increasingly blurred.
While some may see these additional voices as a great way to dilute the press with biased opinions instead of objective reporting, Google is probably including the best of the blogosphere in an effort to highlight the leading sources that (for better or worse) are influencing the direction of the US, as well as the world.