Google has added a blog searching tool to its menu of search alternatives.

The new beta service went live yesterday and can be accessed through a variety of Web addresses, including www.google.com/blogsearch and http://search.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," an FAQ reads.

The new service doesn't limit its searches to Google's own Blogger service, and the index is continually updated and includes blogs written in English and other languages, including French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.

Users can do basic searches entering keywords or they can do advanced searches in which they can specify certain parameters, such as searching within a specific blog or only blogs written in a particular language or authored by a specific person.

The search also gives users the option of subscribing via syndication feeds, such as RSS or Atom. This means that if someone searches for "Hurricane Katrina", Google's blog search lets him add a feed in his news aggregator of choice and be alerted whenever Google's blog search indexes blog postings that match the query term "Hurricane Katrina".