Posted May 15, 2009 6:01 pm by with 7 comments

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Google’s working on its Blog Search behind the scenes, according to emails from the head of the search quality group in Google’s New York office, Jeremy Hylton, and Search Engine Land’s Matt McGee:

Google’s changes are more about what powers Blog Search, not what it looks like.

“With [Thursday’s] update,” Hylton says, “the whole collection of ranking changes provides a more authoritative set of results. I think it’s really a great set of bloggers talking about current events.”

Hylton says they’ll continue tweaking the algorithm and interface moving forward to improve the overall user experience.

Some of the changes, however, will be more visible: Google is also subtly updating how it displays the clusters of stories on the homepage. The new design is a bit more streamlined, shifting the blue-boxed images from the left of the clusters (old version) to the right:

Additionally, they’re updating how they choose these subjects and particular posts to highlight:

One of the algorithmic changes is aimed at making sure the home page clusters reward the freshest and most authoritative blog content. Within any cluster, Google wants to find the posts that people are talking about the most.

“We have a lot of ranking signals. We’ve been tuning the ranking and clustering algorithms to make better use of those signals. One important changes is that we’re processing new links much faster, so the post that breaks a story and gets a lot of links is more likely to become the lead story.”

Have you noticed the changes yet?