Sébastien Billard sent me a heads up on an interview that he has conducted with Danica Brinton, who is the head of International Product Management and Localization for Ask.com – Interview avec Danica Brinton (Ask.com).
While the original is in French, Sébastien has also translated it into English. There’s a link to the English version in pdf format in the first paragraph of the French version. There’s some great information here on how Ask’s blog search works. Here’s a snippet:
Because Bloglines is the largest and longest established major blog reading community online, Ask Blog & Feed Search also has the most robust index of content on the Web: articles are indexed from 2001 through five minutes ago (or less). New posts are added at a rate of four to six million per day, with a total index in excess of 1.5 billion articles, with 4 to 6 million added every day.
The interview also describes different ways that search results can be sorted, and provides some insight into the ExpertRank algorithm.
Sébastien asks some great questions, and in a couple of places some tough questions, on topics such as the use of accents, the inclusion of Digg-like results in the blog search, and more. Highly recommended.