Google search won't work, because all the content needs to be in their index to handle that. If someone has a private blog, then those won't be indexed by G.
Also, we can do more stuff by using our own search. Options like searching only for featured photos, etc are not possible with Google results. And again, it requires them to keep a full index of our site, which is not really desirable for us since it means them crawling all 1.5 million of our photo pages on a regular basis.
There's some weaknesses with our approach, but on the whole I think it satisfies our needs better than G can. At least when it's working right . The quotes can be made to work. I'll check that during the next update.
An update on this (and this time it's a bit more juicy) - the search indexes for blogs, blog entries and forum threads have all been updated and rewritten to ensure they do a better job of keeping up to date. In theory there shouldn't be more than a 10 minute lag now for these indexes.
I also upgraded the search parser on all these indexes. The new one handles quotes, minus operators, field specific searches and wildcards among a few other powerful things.
Field specific searches look like this.
Fields you can use when searching for blog entries are: title, subheading, blogdomain, blogtitle, entry, tag, country
And they can include wild cards too, so
Well, I could go on and on. There's quite a lot there, but these are the ones asked for, so have fun
The other indexes will follow soon (photos, accommodation, users, guide)