I’m writing to say goodbye. With time I hope I’ll have more good things to say than bad, but this hasn’t been the case of late. I know you have plenty of other suitors paying attention to you, and I doubt you’ll even miss me. But I thought I’d write you a note to explain my absence and what went wrong between us.
I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of Jason Kottke (from 2005) and stop calling you. It was fun watching my rank improve until I was in the top percentile of your favorite people, but I’ll never be one of the top one hundred you lavish your attention on… so why am I bothering? One of the key principles of time management is to put your attention and focus on what gets the maximum return on investment, but you haven’t been giving me anything more than a number and a lot of frustration.
Technorati, I fully appreciate the magnitude of what you’re doing with only a 45 person team behind you. I think focusing on search makes sense because you’ve already wasted too much time courting bloggers for links. Bloggers truly are such a limited part of the all the people who could be using you. We’re also fair weather friends who are the first to turn on you and complain when things go wrong.
But I’m leaving you Technorati, and I have the following grievances that you don’t seem to care about. I’m glad you’ve shed some pounds, and your dressing better, but looks aren’t everything. It’s the way you treat me that matters in the end.
Problems I’ve had with Technorati
- You lost the last month of my blog posts even though they were pinged and indexed before your new cosmetic changes. Because I only show the very latest blog post on my front page you’ll never find them again, even though the last 40 entries are all nicely showing up with full text in my RSS feed. Why don’t your spiders use my RSS feed? This is not the first time we’ve had this problem.
- You are inflexible when it comes to my blog URL. My latest posts must appear on http://engtech.wordpress.com, and your spiders will become confused if I ever change it to something like engtech.wordpress.com/blog. I can go from …com/blog to …com but not the other way around.
- My Technorati favorites page does not show the latest posts from ALL my 500 favorites – only a small subset of them. It is much better for me to track them with Google Reader or to use a Google Custom Search engine then to use Technorati favorites.
- The Technorati API should be a great way to grab information about blogs, but if you are under high traffic you will often fail to return any data at all instead of a standard error.
- You ask for entirely too many links back. I’m supposed to tag my posts with links back to you and add big “favorite my blog on Technorati” links on every page of my site in the hopes I can climb the top 100 favorites list, which no one really uses anyways.
- You do nothing to fix the long standing ping bug where anyone can ping a permalink post on a blog and have it show up as a new blog. I have to log a support ticket whenever I want to fix this.
- You cannot handle domain changes. It is very common for bloggers to start out on *.blogspot.com or *.wordpress.com and then eventually buy their own domain name. Every other search engine understands the 301 redirect just fine, why can’t you? This is by far your biggest limitation.
This isn’t to say you don’t have good people working for you. I’ve seen you help out friends and send them free t-shirts. I fully appreciate how difficult bloggers are to deal with, and how big of an achievement indexing that many blogs is. I appreciate all of the times you’ve gone out of your way to contact people who are having problems.
But there’s no denying that I’m having a very bad user experience with Technorati. Instead of being able to use you how I want, I’m pigeon-holed into trying to get you to display my blog properly and track the other blogs who are linking to it. All for what… a few meaningless numbers?
Technorati Rank got a lot of attention before it was replaced with Technorati Authority, but it can easily be deep-sixed. Google has bought FeedBurner and can combine the data from FeedBurner subscription counts and Google Reader. While you were busy determining authority by blog links, authority by RSS readership is going to come along and wipe you out with a metric that makes so much more sense.
So I’ve had enough of our relationship, Technorati. I know I haven’t exactly been kind to you in return (it would be polite to call me overly critical), so I think it is time for us to put this mutually destructive relationship to end. I’ve often complained that the biggest mistake a blog can make it not to own it’s own name. I’m moving on to internetducttape.com, and I know you’ll never find me. Even though I’m redirecting my little heart out, you don’t care to follow.
Formerly known as Honeycakes
Over the top, but I couldn’t help it.
http://engtech.wordpress.com is now http://internetducttape.com, which means my Technorati Authority has dropped to 0. I’ve freed myself from my ball and chain and now I will focus on content and readers instead of traffic and links.
And of course, cool hacks, tricks and mash-ups of existing web services thanks to a little bit of internet duct tape.
Darren and Amit both recently wrote some criticisms about how bloggers have been doing Technorati Favorites exchange memes and how it is changing the landscape of the Top 100 Favorites list. (Darren comes in with further clarification as I type this.) Dosh Dosh wrote an insightful response that I feel covers all the issues, but I’ll throw in my $0.02, if only because I have a pocket full of loose change.
If you don’t blog, you probably want to skip this post as it is a hardcore geek out.
Technorati has two top 100 lists, the Top 100 Most Favorited list and the Top 100 Most Linked list. The Most Linked list where your Technorati rank comes from. It is reputable and hard to get on. The Most Favorited list is mostly a joke, and has been for a long time. You need around 3,000 blog links in a six month period to reach the Top 100 Most Linked list but only 200 favorites from all time to reach the Top 100 Most Favorited list.
What Are Technorati Favorites?
Technorati is one of the two largest blog search engines. Technorati Favorites is a way to bookmark other blogs on the Technorati site. By favoriting a blog on Technorati it shows up on your favorites list and you can limit your blog searches to only search within your favorites. It’s a good way to track blogs you only casually follow.
What is Technorati Favorite Your Fans?
This is a program that connects to the Technorati.com service, finds everyone who has favorited your blog and automatically favorites them back.
Technorati has long had a “favorite blog” feature where users can mark their favorite blogs and be able to browse recent entries from their favorites (like a poor man’s RSS). They also have a Technorati Top 100 Most Favorited Blogs which gets a lot less attention then the Technorati Rank. Six months ago it took only 60 favorites to become a Top 100 blog, now it is still a lowly 125 favorites. There are only seven blogs with over 700 favorites on all of Technorati. This is a feature that never became popular.
Of course, the interface to the Dapper RSS feed is less than stellar, which is where Yahoo Pipes comes in. Yahoo Pipes also lets me create several flavours depending on what people want.
A conversation has been brewing about the 2000 Bloggers project. It has been called a link farm and an attempt to game Technorati. I won’t speak for the intentions of the guy who created it, but I thought it was a pretty cool idea to see a montage of all the various faces of blogging.
That’s one of the things I really like about the WordPress.com user avatars, MyBlogLog and tools like this one that let me see the last 130 avatars of people who visited my blog. A few months ago someone put together the “Public Face of 9 Rules” montage in a response to a debate that was going on in the community. It looked really good.
Technorati assigns each blog a ranking based on the number of blogs that have linked to it in the past nine months. The ranking says how many blogs have more links than you. You need about 3,000 links to reach the “coveted” Top 100 list. This ranking number is used by news aggregators like TechMeme and for blog advertising networks like ReviewMe.
- I have a bad tendency to treat this number like it matters despite WordPress’ Matt Mullenweg’s comment that being in the Technorati Top 100 will account for less than 200 hits a day.
- I wonder if Technorati is like the DMV and this post is going to get make my blog sleep wit da fishies.
It’s a very useful site for keeping track of who is linking to you. Their about page says they’re “the recognized authority on what’s happening on the World Live Web, right now” and their Wikipedia entry lists them as an “Internet search company”. But how many people actually use it for search? (I think Technorati realizes this and is trying to branch out in other directions — also see Matt.)
They publish a list of popular search terms on the front page of their site. Zeitgeists like this are an interesting way of tracking public interest. For the past few days “Violent Acres” has been at the number one position on the list, and my site has been in the top 5 search results. That has been panning out to around 10-25 hits a day coming from Technorati.
Wait. 10-25 hits for the most popular search term on their site? The search term that they say is more popular than YouTube, WordPress, MySpace, Paris Hilton or the iPhone?
Does not compute. As long as I can remember the top 10 popular search terms on Technorati have always been MySpace, YouTube, WordPress, something political and one of those panty-less celebratants. It was cool to see Violent Acres appear on the list. I think she’s fast on the way to becoming one of the most popular blogs on the Internet. But it makes no sense that being the top result for the most popular search term on Technorati for over 24 hours would lead to so little referral traffic. Isn’t this the most popular term people are searching for?
- I ran some tests to make sure my refer logs were picking up all the refers and it looks like the data I’m basing this observation on is correct.
- At the very least this is the number of people who click on the “Top Searches” on the Technorati front page and then click on one of the first results.
So why does the most popular search on Technorati lead to such little traffic?
I don’t know how their algorithm works. I assume it’s the most often used search term. Here are a few potential scenarios why this could happen (ordered from most likely to least likely).
- People are searching for Violent Acres’ blog NOT posts about her blog — so they don’t click on the results that aren’t from her site. (Most likely)
- My titles suck and no one wants to click on them.
- I’m completely overestimating how long I was showing up in the top results.
- No one uses Technorati blog search.
- Technorati Popular Search isn’t search terms — but instead buzz of trends in blogs.
- Someone is spamming the search terms to get the number 1 position. (Least likely)
UPDATE: It looks like this happened because VA mentioned Technorati in this blog post. So one blogger can get to the most popular search result with mentioning Technorati off-hand like that? That still makes me wonder how many people are using it for searching blogs.
Does anyone use blog search tools?
I’m heavily involved in blog culture and even I don’t limit my searches to “blogs only” that often. I stick with Google search, like I would for any other web research. I love Technorati’s tools for finding out who is linking to my blog and articles. But that’s navel gazing and picking my bellybutton link — I don’t care what they say about others. I always thought there were people out there using Technorati search even if I wasn’t one of them. Now I’m starting to wonder…
Which search tools do you use? Have you ever used a blog specific search tool like Google Blogsearch, Technorati, or Icerocket?
(More boring blog rank crap that is of interest to no one but me)
Technorati is a blog search engine that also ranks blogs. Getting onto the Technorati Top 100 (or the Top 100 Favorited) is a pretty big accomplishment (if ironic because the only people who seem to know about it are other bloggers). Over a month ago I’d noticed that my Technorati rank had “stalled”. The number of inbound links had fizzled to a fixed amount even though I knew I was getting more links. I put in a support request ticket and waited for response. Nothing.
Around three weeks later I still hadn’t heard anything from them, so I put in another request ticket. Still nothing.