Despite a wealth of channels for searching the blogosphere, Technorati remains important because it's the only tool that offers a clue about the reputation and influence of each blog. By evaluating a number of factors, including inbound links on a rolling six-month basis, Technorati is able to assign a rank and an authority level for each blog. When identifying bloggers for outreach, these metrics have proven invaluable. You can't find anything comparable on any other blog search engine, including the popular Google Blogsearch.
But like any tool, Technorati's usefulness vanishes if it's broken. And Technorati has been broken in a big way for some time. What's more, they don't seem to be very interested in fixing it.
For years, this blog has included two Technorati links. One is a widget that displays the blog's Technorati authority; the other is a link to a Technorati page that lists blogs that have linked to mine. A while back, Technorati relaunched its site with a new design. Suddenly, the long list of blogs linking to mine disappeared; the page now shows zero blogs linking to this one. (Google Blogsearch shows more than 4,000.)
What's more, the authority on my widget shows 132, but a visit to my blog's Technorati page reveals an authority of 525.
My rank is showing up as 3,930â€"not bad if it's accurate, but given the other issues, to say I'm skeptical is putting a positive spin on the situation.
And that's the problem. It's not about my ego and needing to know that people are blogging about my posts (I get that information from Google's Blogsearch). It's about trusting Technorati when looking up information about other bloggers. I have no confidence in Technorati, and therefore can no longer use it in my work. I trust the Oakland Raiders to score multiple passing touchdowns in a single game more than I trust Technorati to give me usable results for any blog I'm researching.
A couple weeks ago, when this situation really started to bug me, I did some searching and found that Technorati has a Get Satisfaction page addressing the problem. The explanation from Technorati deals with a long-standing problem with producing good results and the solution, which involves "work(ing) from a clean data set." The post continues:
Sites that we have added to the clean index are being crawled, having detailed authority calculated, display recent posts (one at the moment) on our site, and contribute to other sites authority. We are continuously adding more and more sites to this index, and are working on ways to do so faster, but as you can imagine, the volume of sites to qualify is enormous.
An impressive number of comments follow the post, none of them happy. A typical comment reads something like, "My blog has lost all of its 2 years authority, plus it's not showing recent posts and its screenshot is very old. Please help."
Technorati isn't responding to any of the comments (as they did occasionally at the outset) and reports of the problems being fixed are more rare than sightings of wild condors in downtown Manhattan, leading to comments like this one: "I'd suggest that either Technorati or Get Satisfaction are ignoring this thread as there don't seem to be any recent responses to points raised by bloggers."
I understand that processes can take time, but for a professional service, the response from Technorati is abysmal. The problem is knowing where else to go for comparable metrics on blogger influence.
It goes without saying: Technorati FAIL.