Friday, August 17, 2007

Sifry Departs Technorati --- Now what?

I saw the news last night: Dave Sifry announced on his blog that he's leaving the top post at Technorati...and if y'all are like me, you've been reading all the other posts on this...but what's bugging me right now is how the heck am I going to track any links to my blog???

Several blogs--including Business Week and others see more potential in Google's
blog search--even Matt Ingram has said that Google is eating Technorati's lunch. But the thing is Google blog search is awful for find out who's linking to your blog

In a term, Google sucks for this. Google doesn't go deep enough into the blogosphere to find links to blogs. It also doesn't care all that much about blogs if their not high-ranking, so it doesn't aggregate them for "Google alerts" nor for search.

Icerocket's been suggested as another alternative. It's okay, but I usually end up finding more splog links than blog links. That's helpful if I want to get peeved. Icerocket simply doesn't go as deep into lower-traffic blogs as Technorati.

Google's also done some very awful things to bloggers like me, who didn't want to lose access to the template HTML in the Google/Blogger turnover. If one didn't convert, Google's bots immediately assumed your blog to be a splog, and put NOFOLLOW tags in your metadata. This was an automated process--not a person-determined process. This stopped any bots from crawling and adding your blog to their results, thus making you a Blogger non grata. There were two steps to getting back into Google search and getting bots to follow--first, send an email to Google/Blogger about it, where, supposedly, a person reviewed your blog. Then, you have to petition the automated Google Indext to re-index your blog. Which could take from 4-8 weeks. Meanwhile, you lost any search traffic that you may have been building because Google de-indexed even all your old, legitimate blog entries!

Still, in many cases, one has to go into one's metadata and manually remove the NOFOLLOW stuff. This hasn't stopped sploggers. They've just used other blog software or did their own hacking. The majority of people who got zinged were legit bloggers.

Okay, so you're probably asking Why do you need to know who's linking to you? Well, it's a social thing! When I know who's linking to me, I know whom to go take a look at, whom I might want to leave a comment for, and who I might want to either add to my blogroll or RSS reader. This way I create social capital that can later lead to more traffic and other opportunities. FWIW, maybe I've even just made a nice blog-friend. For some of us, blogging is as much social as it is professional. It's a fine line and one that is sometimes defined differently by different people. But for me, the friendships have been very important.

So, I am sincerely hoping that Technorati can diversify enough with their other ventures to generate enough income so that and they can continue their blog search--and perhaps tout its superiority to other search features for finding blog links. The folks involved in Technorati, I believe, know the blogosphere (and bloggers) better than anybody, and that's something that a fully automated Google cannot replicate.

Note: when I worked on Assignment Zero, daily searches on Technorati for buzz were incredibly important. Technorati was one of several blog search tools that I used. Because I'm familiar with its level of accuracy and its ability to dig pretty deeply, I started there, then used other search to find overlap or other entries. Google was never used because it never gave me anything going on in the blogs that was related to AZ.


Steve Baker said...

Tish, I used to use Technorati all the time. Now, though, I find I don't use blog search nearly as much as I used to. I have a couple of engines, including Technorati, purportedly showing me on my aggregator page (netvibes) who's linking to us at Blogspotting. But the results are really unreliable. My question is whether there's a future for dedicated blog search.

Tish Grier said...


I got to thinking about that too--more specifically, if blog rank means what it did two years ago. For awhile blog rank was being thrown around as the potential means of determining who the best bloggers were and who might be approached for advertising deals, employment, etc...

But I wonder, in a world where there's a preponderance of RSS and trackbacks, if blog rank really has the same cachet as it once did.