I am always in 2 minds to write anything about Technorati but ultimately the changes to the site today are extremely significant, and I had to balance that against my ability to offer suitable commentary.
This post covers the more technical changes to Technorati – I have also now posted about the changes to Technorati from a users perspective
- Since I started advising Blogcatalog a little in private, writing about Technorati, Mybloglog or any other blog directory or search engine in some ways would be like writing about the competition. Celebrating the great things a competitor does would probably be acceptable, whereas writing something negative would be “dissing the competition”
- This blog has always had in-depth coverage of blog search, blog social networks and blog related SEO, especially in regards to things like the benefits of semantic markup and tagging. Not writing something would leave a huge whole in my content and a disservice to my audience.
My choice is to write something, but understand that some might look on what I write as being a little biased. In my own mind I am a Technorati fan, so hopefully that will temper my reactions to some features.
I need to qualify the title of this post – I have spent countless days over the last 2-3 years studying changes the user interface, plus the internal and external SEO factors of all the large blogging platforms, social networks and search engines. Whilst my email exchanges with Blogcatalog are extremely infrequent, I am constantly monitoring for changes.
Technorati Relaunched Site
I first read about the upcoming Technorati changes on Venture Beat in an interview with Richard Jalichandra 10 days ago, and Richard also made the announcement on his blog.
There is an announcement on the Technorati blog as well – by the date of the post (8th Oct) they might have been almost ready to go live a week ago, but pulled the plug due to a hitch.
Technorati Rankings Changed
Technorati have a new ratings system which is based on factors I haven’t worked out yet – I am sure there is a lot of Twitter data in there as people don’t link very often these days in many niches, especially the SEO community (hint)
They are probably also pulling in 3rd party traffic data.
Now they are focusing much more on recent data within the last month and giving blogs an authority rank between 1 – 1,000. Scoring factors include posting frequency, context, linking behavior and “other inputs.”
Technorati Tag Pages
This is now approaching the nuts and bolts of Technorati
Lets first of all take a look at the tag page for SEO
The first immediate impression is that this is only a single page of results, there is no pagination and there is a comment box at the bottom of the page provided by JS Kit. That has just bumped the JS Kit installed based by several million pages. Technorati last had around 30 million indexed pages, though I am sure that will soon change.
If you look at your Google toolbar, Search Status or other SEO plugin, you might notice a TBPR (Toolbar Page Rank) for this page of 2. You would think with all the millions of times Technorati have no doubt been linked to for this term by people using Technorati as a default tag space (rel=”tag”) that it would be more than that – Google does seem to be discounting those links and has been for some time.
Almost all of the results are around 150 in the new Technorati Authority scale, and there are no recent SEO posts listed such as Powazek slamming SEO in general, and Danny Sullivan responding… twice.
For those wondering, I nofollowed Powazek because I don’t trust the source. Ranking for stuff due to the benefits of WordPress theme publishing really doesn’t count as SEO.
The least obvious factor is that the tag pages no longer seem to be made up of editorially assigned tags from blog publishers, but is based upon a content search and possible relevance based upon keyword density. I suspect technorati are now using something like Sphinx to power their tag pages. They won’t be the first, and I am not saying this is the wrong approach, but it is a significant change that Technorati, effectively the king of rel=”tag” doesn’t really use it much any more.
As evidence there was a listing to this page virtualdownload.net/?p=59834 – it was not specifically tagged SEO, just used the term a lot promoting what seems to be a warez download.
If you just type in a search for a particular topic in Technorati now, it defaults to a search of Blogs on the topic, not recent content.
I have a funny feeling these rankings are based upon the old Technorati scales in some way as can be seen in the numbers on the left hand side – it is not exactly the same, but there is a lot of similarity in the results.
The default blog post search again seems to to be keyword density based, so if you want to rank for SEO on Technorati, just mention SEO a lot.
If you then refine your search based upon high authority, the results actually seem pretty good, lots of web designers saying SEO is a load of crock, plus Danny defending SEO.
Then you delve into the results and discover:-
- Just a snippet from the lead developer of Tumblr – a crap result
- A paid post on Venture Beat that doesn’t use nofollows – a smart SEO company would actually want those links nofollowed, so I don’t feel like I am snitching.
- Regurgitated Powazek
- More regurgitated Powazek on Boing Boing
I don’t trust those results either, all nofollowed
What is wrong with SEO is search engine reliance on website authority to give meanings to results – these results are in my opinion crap, but search engines have to somehow unravel how bad quality all those referring sites are, as they are not topical authorities and just joining in on a web designer circle jerk. It will take a little time for Google to work that out, and I doubt the “fresh” result for Derek’s post will remain long on the front page of Google.
It should be noted that a large chunk of Derek Powazek’s “good code” has probably just been scrapped by Technorati.
I think the new Technorati shows some promise in its scaled down capacity – it is pretty and fairly functional though a number of the new components need a little work. I hope a chunk of Technorati’s new funding will be invested in hiring an SEO expert.
Disclaimer: I am not an SEO consultant – you can’t hire me on an hourly rate and those I advise almost always benefited from free advise long before there was any kind material compensation. I just study things intensely and rip them apart. I certainly couldn’t create many of the great web applications I write about without a lot of help from great web developers.