One of my favorite RSS feeds is the Popular links feed. There’s always something interesting in there. Caught an interview with the creator of the site today. In the lead up to the interview, the author makes a great point about as mighty as Google is, it’s doesn’t handle the pulse of web too well:

I believe where succeeds that Google does not is buzz latency. Like weblogs,’s social bookmarking system does a fine job of identifying buzz quickly. A quick glance of the popular page and you get a pretty clear idea what’s 30k+ community cares about.

Yes, Google indexes 8 billion pages and, yes, it serves up the results of queries to those indicies to, well, The Planet Earth, but Google chews on their large bites of the web relatively slowly. A monthly Zeitgeist reports tells me what The Planet Earth cares about, but I could pretty much guess that the most popular retail query on Google was Ebay. I was surprised that the #2 male celebrity query was Matt Drudge, but I don’t actually care.

Right on.