Echo-bloggers and blog search: does every linked or cited article count?

One article or many? Scope for some social network analysis on Google’s new blog search, suggests edublogger Stephen Downes, using an example from online journalism to make his point:

[But] here’s where the network analysis comes in – if the WSJ releases an opinion piece, and it is dutifully cited by the same 79 blogs that cite all such pieces of that political bent, should that really count as ’79 results’? Or is it just one opinion – the WSJ’s – repeated by echo-bloggers 79 times?

And then what does that mean for ranking, linking, position in other search engines’ results etc…?

In response to a comment, Downes explains what he envisages:

Google groups blogs by topic; take the groups so grouped and see how they link to each other. Compare linkages between the same blogs over different topics.

Any takers?

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