Technorati has for years provided blog search and blog authority ratings. They’ve traditionally been known for having technical glitches, from their site tending to be slow, or completely down. But for the most part, bloggers adopted them as the de facto measurement tool for how well read blogs are.
Since their recent update, in which they revamped how they rank blogs, as well putting a shiny new look on their site, things appear to have headed down hill.
First off, a look at their support forum, where I, alas, have spent more time than I’d like trying to get this blog to update and to find out why the system has completely stopped workin for me, will show you that they’ve got some problems that are obviously systemic.
The numbers of people who can’t ping their service, which tells technorati there is a post to index, and allows them to check for links to other blogs (the currency of their blog authority ratings) are legion. To their credit they appear to be trying to get people fixed up, one by one, with their admins reporting “we made a small change and you should be all set now.”
The thing is, we’re far from all set. Even if the system begins to work again, which I currently doubt will be the case, the way blogs are rated is utterly broken. Not the system, but the logic behind the system. Here’s why:
- One size fits all – We should not care how our blog rates against all other bloigs, but more importantly, we ought to care about how we rank within our niche. Blogs like BoingBoing and Instapundit will always be top blogs, and let’s face it, most of us aren’t really expecting to compete with them.
- Trackbacks are dead – which means that as a measure of popularity, links are a tenuous commodity, however right now, they’re all we have.
- All things are not equal – There ought to be a measure of relevance in all things. Saying that a link from a Splog (an automated blog grabbing content and reposting in hopes of generating adsense revenue) is the same value to me as a link from a Seth Godin or the like is ludicrous.
- Links are inside baseball – While I’m not willing to write them off, links from other marketing or web design bloggers are kind of self-referential. Shouldn’t there be a component of traffic and more importantly, quality traffic, in how blogs are rated?
I hope Technorati can fix their problems. If they can’t there’s room for someone else to swoop in and do it better. Hmm…maybe I should get coding….