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.
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 also has a blogroll of sorts. There are links on the sidebar to the people you are following which are links Technorati can see.
The result if people claim their Twitter account in Technorati and their friends do the same is clear to see.
Now what happens if you are a Twitter user like Robert Scoble with 100s, actually over 1000 followers.
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”
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.
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).