Technorati Can’t Cope With Twitter, coComment, Blog Networks, and Blog Rolls

Technorati Logo

Technorati simply can’t cope with new forms of blogging and RSS feed generation. I am not talking about splogs, which seem to still be rampant, and reblogs, likewise, but totally legitimate alternative unique content sources that are effectively blogs.

coComment

Cocomment

Not too long ago, coComment introduced the ability to be able to claim your coComment feed on Technorati, and went to the trouble of creating a very integrated claim wizard.

Within a few days, the very legitimate coComment feeds full of unique content were filling up Technorati links pages. It seems Technorati swiftly took action and decided that coComments feeds were not blogs, and silently nerfed them.

coComment feeds are not splogs, they are a record of activity all over the web that contain content directly linked to individual people, and real discussions.
Technorati could use coComment as a way to filter out splogs, because blogs that don’t get comments might be a good indication of splogs and reblogs.

Twitter

Twitter

Twitter allows you to post a Technorati claim. I have claimed my Twitter feed, and so have a couple of my friends. Update: Paul has written about doing so here now.

Twitter Claims in Technorati

Twitter also has a blogroll of sorts. There are links on the sidebar to the people you are following which are links Technorati can see.

Twitter Blogroll

The result if people claim their Twitter account in Technorati and their friends do the same is clear to see.

Technorati Links to Twitter

Now what happens if you are a Twitter user like Robert Scoble with 100s, actually over 1000 followers.

Scobleizer Technorati Results

Not all of Robert’s followers have claimed their feeds, and Technorati hasn’t found them all, but that won’t take long.

Technorati Can’t Cope

coComment is very legitimate user generated content – if I fed my coComment feed into a blog, it would be looked on by Technorati as legitimate, so why negate it’s effects only days after it was introduced?

Twitter is actually less legitimate than coComment – you are limited to very few characters unlike blog comments which can often be longer than many blog posts.
Twitter has a Blog Roll of sorts, that is providing cross linking, and soon Robert Scobles Twitter might enter the Technorati Top 100 – you only need 3300 blogs linking to a blog to hit the Technorati 100 currently, Robert already has 1000 followers and I am sure he will easily clock up more very quickly.
The problem for Technorati is that Robert’s Twitter feed is legitimate content on a different platform, and that people are choosing to link to him from their “Twitter Rolls”

Blog Rolls

One of the reasons blogs that are part of blog networks gain Technorati rankings fast is their sitewide links to other blogs in the network.
As I pointed out recently when defending 2000 Bloggers, there are blogs that are part of blog networks that haven’t posted for more than a year, but due to blogrolls have very high Technorati ranks, without any links from within the content.

Widgets, Plugins and Themes

Various members of the WordPress development team used to dominate the Technorati Top 100 because of the default blogroll links. Nothing wrong with the links which are well deserved, everything wrong for Technorati counting them.

Currently the best way to game Technorati is to create widgets and themes with links to the author. Technorati picks them up as links from the blog.
Some of the widgets can do this in quite a collective way, such as community blogroll widgets that add 100s of cross links to all members of the community. Then again they are only doing the same as “legitimate” blog networks.

How to Fix Technorati

Technorati have to change the way they look on links completely, and only count links within content. That may mean their spiders have to start working in a totally different way, and current link totals will twist real results for 6 months.

Technorati should be counting alternative blogging platforms such as coComment and Twitter, but again, they should only count links from within the content.

Twitter is dominating Techmeme today.

I love Pete Cashmore’s timeline of blogging, Marshall Kirkpatrick did a “sitting on the fence” roundup, (i.e. unbiased reporting), and Brian Alvey put a unique perspective on things, (he should be thinking of adding a Twitter widget to Blogsmith for a USP).

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Comments

  1. says

    Interesting post.

    Maybe Technorati will take you up on your suggestions.

    And even though I use sites like “Blogging Chicks,” which you said is “gaming” the system, I do have lot of genuine SEO traffic.

    I believe my daily content would keep my Technorati ranking around 2,500 or so and much higher — where, thank the Lord Jesus — it has climbed to now.

    We’ll see what comes of this all.

    You’re probably keeping those Technorati developers busy!

  2. says

    Paula the widget blogrolls are not gaming the system any more than Weblogs Inc or B5 Media – both respectable blog networks.

    Other bloggers do something to level the playing field, though I am not sure that is totally to their advantage.

    Search traffic is heavily to do with keyword choices and you do a great job spotting highly controversial stories that are going to bring in traffic.

    You are also doing a good job with social proof in your sidebar.

    It is strange, even after 2000 bloggers was meant to be nerfed, I still see it crop up in Technorati links.

  3. says

    Wow Andy, you have done it again! Great article and I am honored to be in your favorites! :-) I wanted to thank you for all your help both personally given and via all of your articles, you have been my inspiration! :-)

  4. says

    Hey Andy, great commentary (as usual).

    Just a note that we’re dropping the “big blogroll” thing from b5media (I believe we’re the first network to do this). See the beta of the new template at http://www.ensight.org (my personal blog).

    The reason was pretty simple: even though it’ll likely hurt our Google/Technorati rank in the short term, only highlighting relevant sites in the network in the sidebar is far better for our readers. They don’t get swamped and they aren’t forced to look at every blog as a massive list (nevermind filtering through it to find the ONE blog they want to read).

    Not that we’ve given up on showing off our blogs, we’ve just moved all that to the footer and created more of a “discovery zone” so that people who do want to poke around can. And for folk who don’t, the sidebar is far, far cleaner than it was before.

    Long and short is you’ll see less “blogroll spam” in Technorati from us, even if it means we drop a few thousand in average ranking.

    Maybe I should write a post about this ;-)

  5. says

    Actually there are better ways to do it (at least in my opinion), one of these days we should touch bases on it.

    Relevancy and LSI based linking is very important these days, and it is fun out-ranking Matt Cutts on terms like “Toolbar Pagerank” though that is quite by chance, it wasn’t a keyword I was trying to rank for.

    Lots of your blogs get very natural linking, and the interlinking can actually be done in a more user beneficial way and there could be some great monetization twists.

    I must admit I have rarely browsed the blogs on the sidebar, and have more frequently ended up on a b5 blog following natural links.

    Yes, you should use it for some positive PR

    At least all your blogs on the blogroll are alive – Weblogs Inc have some extremely dead blogs still listed.

  6. says

    Interesting post as usual.

    We contacted the Technorati staff before working on the claiming feature asking them how to proceed, and we were open to suggestions/remarks, however we never received an answer. A warning from them about a possible nerf would have changed the way we looked at claiming (i guess we would have looked for an alternative to Technorati).

    Anyway, we are still trying to figure out how they proceed with coComment claimed feeds, maybe we can improve things on our side, maybe it s a side effect of a change they made in their search results page, who knows, but as long as they ignore us we are in the dark.

    max
    coComment developer

  7. says

    I think Max is a little upset to have worked night and days on this feature to discover that for some still unknown reasons this is now not working ;-)

    Actually, we are still investigating what is happening and it is still too early to tell where are the problems. Right now, I do not think it is appropriate to blame anyone and to jump to conclusions.

    When we decided to implement this integration, we believed this was a good win-win-win for bloggers, Technorati and us: all of us getting more content and/or visibility. The next step is probably to get more structure in that content, but getting and indexing all valuable content from a blog seems to be quite a interesting direction, no ?

    And many thanks to Andy for pointing that issue to us !

    Christophe.

  8. says

    Christophe I think Max has a reason to be upset, because coComment whilst creating lots of links, it wasn’t creating links from lots of feeds – it is hard to analyse it correctly now, but I believe the links were only from “Your Neighbors”

    There is a limit to how many neighbors show, thus it doesn’t twist results extensively, and Technorati popularity is based upon unique blogs linking to you.

  9. says

    Hey Andy,

    Always happy to chat. I’ve been travelling a bit much lately, but will try and ping you in the next couple of weeks (though feel free to beat me to it) :)

    As an FYI, I didn’t receive any comment notifications, hence my delay in responding :)

  10. says

    Gosh, but how do you claim a Twitter “blog” (i.e., I assume, your profile page) on Technorati?

    Part of the Technorati claim process involves allowing Technorati to spider your blog to find a code snippet they ask you to insert. But Twitter doesn’t allow html in posts. So how did you get round that one?

  11. says

    @andy: I’m not sure about the links how this was actually influencing Technorati ranking. My guess is that this wasn’t affecting it in a significant way.

    But, actually, we were not focusing only on links, but also on search results: with comments on your blog indexed, this can give more visibility from a search results to your blog. Also, this give visibility on your own comments. As the link to your comment display the blog where you commented + a side bar with a reference to you and your own blogs, this was also increasing your own presence on Technorati search results.

    The idea here is also that someone just commenting, without actually having a blog, become visible in the *sphere: everyone contributing can now have an “existence”.

    Thanks
    Christophe

  12. says

    Andy, thanks for the advice that Technorati isn’t playing ball with coComment. I had presumed that I hadn’t set the coComment integration up properly!

    Is there any news on whether they intend to change their policy on this?

  13. says

    As far as we know, there is no intention from Technorati to block us.
    We are still investigating what is happening and we hope to come very soon with a working solution.
    We will keep you posted on our blog when we will make progress.

  14. says

    Great article, you bring up some VERY interesting questions.

    we have linked to you from our new twitter forum and community. Come check us out and help get the community going.

    twitterforum dot com

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