To its menu of search alternatives, Google has added the option of searching through the popular online journals called weblogs, or blogs.

The search service, called Blog Search, went live on Wednesday in test (beta) form. Users can access it through various web addresses, including one through Google and one through Blogger.com.

"Google is a strong believer in the self-publishing phenomenon represented by blogging, and we hope Blog Search will help our users to explore the blogging universe more effectively, and perhaps inspire many to join the revolution themselves," reads a frequently-asked-questions page on the service.

Blog Search doesn't limit its searches to Google's own Blogger service. The index, which is continually updated, covers blogs written in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish, according to the FAQ.

Users can perform basic searches by entering keywords, or they can run advanced searches in which they specify such parameters as searching within a specific blog or within blogs written only in a particular language or by a specific person, according to the FAQ.

The Mountain View, California, company's Blog Search also gives users the option of subscribing to search results via syndication feeds, such as RSS (really simple syndication) or Atom. This means that if someone searches for "Hurricane Katrina," Google's blog search lets that person add a feed in a news aggregator of choice, such as Bloglines, and be alerted whenever Google's blog search indexes a blog posting that matches the same query term.