October 14, 2009

Technorati Roars Back To Life After Self-Imposed Slumber

There are a select few Web 2.0 companies who have suffered such a roller coaster of peaks and valleys the way Technorati has. Once a clear industry leader for blog search, statistics, and individual site "authority", Technorati's influence withered away thanks to an aggressive push by Google into the blog search arena, statistical gaming by number-crazed bloggers, management changes, odd product launches, and inconsistent uptime. But with a major relaunch tonight, the company has tried to throw off the shackles of the old and rise again, armed with more cash in the bank, a talented editorial staff, and a new look. All of a sudden, the site looks relevant again.

Back in early 2007, Technorati was among one of the favorite topics on this blog. You could see the tumult at the company, as then-CEO David Sifry wrote on a Tuesday in a comment here that he was "very very happy at Technorati", only to announce he was looking for a new CEO that Friday, three days later. You could see debate that summer over people trying to game the then much-watched "Authority", which counted up external links to your site in a six month period. But by early 2008, we were using phrases to discuss the company that included "totally toast", and the new Twitter generation, less than two years removed from Technorati's heyday, scarcely remembers the once respected innovator.

Rising and Falling Blogs On Technorati

But as of tonight, they are back in the game. They ditched the old metrics for attributing authority, as it was considered too static, and now will aim to reward authors for posting frequency, context and linking behavior. Interestingly, they have also introduced authority by topics, meaning that technology blogs can be compared to others in their sector, as can sports blogs, music blogs, and so on. This means that aside from the overall Top 100, sites like TechCrunch don't have to measured head to head against Huffington Post, and we smaller blogs can get a better idea of who our peers are. (See:
A Totally New Technorati.com & Technorati Media Rising

It's Nice to Be Considered a Top 100 Tech Blog

This new ranking system is looking to be more dynamic - changing along with the real-time nature of the Web. Blogs will rise and fall, and be noted on the site. Blogs and individual posts will be featured, and "hot blogosphere items" of all topics can make the front page.

An Individual Blog's Technorati Profile

Occasional louisgray.com contributor and friend to the site, Eric Berlin, is the blogging channel editor, so we wish him well and look forward to hearing more about that role. Additionally, JS-Kit's Echo will enable comments to be placed underneath all blog listings and tags, possibly adding conversation to the data.

Technorati may not be the big giant we once thought they would be, and they will need to have some consistent successes to become a blogosphere darling again, but they are back in the conversation and worth watching.

See Also:
VentureBeat: Big changes coming at Technorati — the CEO’s perspective
TechCrunch: The New Technorati