Technorati Blog Search Relaunches

Technorati has relaunched today, and I’m on a short day, so I can’t dive in to play with it in depth. Below, I’ll recap what some others are saying. add a few off-the-cuff remarks on blog search in general, plus comment on how Technorati continues to be masterful in working its own pages to the top of Google search results.

Come check out the refreshed www.technorati.com! is the relaunch post from Technorati CEO David Sifry, where he writes:

Whereas folks using Technorati a couple of years ago were predominantly coming to us to search the blogosphere to surface the conversations that were most interesting to them, today they are increasingly coming to our site to get the 360 degree context of the Live Web – blogs of course, but also user-generated video, photos, podcasts, music, games and more.

Sorry to say, my gut reaction to this was to feel like Technorati is just jumping on the same video bandwagon Google is going after. Maybe I’m just sensitive to this today. Earlier, the Google Inside AdSense blog repeated what’s become the standard Google mantra: “Video Is Content.” This is starting to feel like a guilty apology from Google for seeming to care more about video than textual information.

Yeah, I know video is content. Yeah, I know people are looking for it. But I also know the expected huge video ad revenues are a chief reason why Google, and now Technorati, seem to focusing here.

Frankly, the Technorati home page is a scary place of distraction, where I have no idea where to begin. Should I browse Top Searches, or Top Tags, or go into the Popular area (which is different how from Top Searches and Top Tags?). Or do I hit the WTF area? Or maybe I can do, you know, a keyword search. It feels like everything is being thrown at me all at once.

What do I personally want? Typically, to see what bloggers are saying about the major search players. Now, I’ve long since given up on running standing searches for things like “google” on blog search anywhere, because you just get overwhelmed with garbage. Instead, I tend to use blog search these days to see how things are going on a specific areas that might be under discussion.

For example, my Google & Dell’s Revenue-Generating URL Error Pages Drawing Fire post today talks about how people are beginning to notice more about how Dell’s search pages, powered by Google, are ad-heavy. So what are people saying about that? A search for dell google ought to bring back any discussion.

On Technorati, I get a bunch of videos. That’s it. That’s, as Technorati tells me at the top of the page, “Everything in the known universe about dell google.” (Note, occasionally, this would flip to give me one single blog post from January).

Now what’s happening is that by default, I’m only being shown “Featured” content. If I drill into the posts tag, I get more. But I shouldn’t have to do the drilling. At least when I get there, I am getting stuff about the topic. But the Google Blog Search results are better, in contrast.

This is only one test, and I might have found that a battery of testing across other blog search services out there such as Icerocket would do an even better job than both Technorati or Google (quick look, Icerocket is so-so). But Technorati already lost me on the Featured content page.

The good news is that there’s a “pure search” version of Technorati you can now use, if you feel the new Featured default view on the main Technorati isn’t doing the job.

Technorati focuses on tags ‘n’ topics from David Weinberger highlights something I thought was super important:

The default search now is for tags, not for text in blogs.

This worries me. I dislike intensely the idea — if this is what’s happening — that content that hasn’t been properly tagged might not show up. Here at Search Engine Land, we do categorize every article in a way to help readers where locate them. But these categories might not match the web-wide tags Technorati wants people to use. Moreover, we effectively tag every article with the actual words in the article. A search that is not full text, to me, isn’t much of a search at all. It’s going to miss stuff.

Technorati is definitely not full text search. Indexing Full Content from the Technorati blog explains how unless you put out a full-text feed, Technorati’s pretty unlikely to know what you wrote about (Google Blog Search originally operated this way as well, but I believe it may have changed). Now on top of that, you have to tag even more?

The tagging is also annoying because part of the shift feels like it’s a way to get people to link back to Technorati even more and thus drive it into the top of Google results.

Look at any tag page like this, and you’ll see this call to action:

To contribute to this page, include this code in your blog post:

Want to be on that page? Link to it. That’s not the only way to flag tagging to Technorati, but linking is the highlighted way.

It’s a masterful link building strategy. And it seems to be paying off. Like Wikipedia, Technorati seems to be showing up more and more for whatever you search for about at Google. Valleywag highlighted this recently, and I’ve touched on it as well.

If Technorati can beat Google, why can’t Microsoft or Yahoo? from Robert Scoble tells me that Technorati rocks:

The newly-relaunched Technorati exposes a weakness in Google’s armor. I just tried a bunch of searches. Technorati does “Live” search MUCH MUCH better than Microsoft and even better than Google’s Blog Search.

Hmm, I wonder if Robert changed the default at Google from relevancy to “Sort by date.” The date sort option often finds things for me minutes after posting. Robert also writes:

Technorati is so superior to all the other blog search engines now that it isn’t even funny. Why can 45 people at Technorati beat Google yet Microsoft, with its billions of dollars, can’t get any traction?

But Steve Rubel in Blog Search is Dead and Google Killed It has the opposite view:

The improvements are nice, but I have to admit that I don’t use Technorati nearly as much as I used to. Link authority was a good metric a year ago, but it’s not nearly as worthwhile today when you consider all of the centers of influence one may wish to search and track. Link authority doesn’t tell me who’s an influencer on Facebook or which video artists are rising on YouTube. It was great in 2005, ok in 2006 and really has faded from relevance in 2007.

Like I said, I wish I had time to run that battery of tests to tell you who’s right — Robert or Steve. Probably neither and both, depending on the searches you do and how you tweak them.

Meanwhile, Technorati Redesigned – Get Realigned Here from Pronet Advertising has a nice rundown on all the new features, especially looking at the Digg-like WTF feature, and in turn points to Social Bookmarking as a Traffic Source – Part 3: Technorati’s Where’s the Fire? for more advice about that.

What are others saying about the change? Checkout the discussion via Techmeme.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Search Engines: Blog Search Engines

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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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