by Geoff Livingston
Just prior to BlogWorld Expo this past weekend, Technorati released it’s new authority system, a more mercurial gauge of popularity. The effort redefines the much maligned authority figure, and reclaim respect from the blogosphere.
Technorati, once the end all, be all of blog rankings, now often finds itself derided as broken and inaccurate. At play was the blog search engine’s inability to match authority to inbound links from social networks, and the rise of Google BlogSearch. As a result, blogs saw dwindling authority with the rise of social networks like Twitter and Facebook (image: Rosie, the Blogger).
Bloggers have largely abandoned Technorati as a benchmark, though the site is still considered by comScore as a top ten social media property. In an attempt to reestablish it’s foothold, the social index has recalibrated it’s authority and ranking system:
- Authority is calculated based on a site’s linking behavior, categorization and other associated data over a short, finite period of time. A site’s authority may rapidly rise and fall depending on what the blogosphere is discussing at the moment, and how often a site produces content being referenced by other sites.
- The new Authority calculation differs from the past version, which measured linking behavior over a longer 6 month timeframe. Please note that links in blogrolls don’t count towards Authority, as they are not indicative of interest in relevant content; we stopped including blogroll links in August 2008.
- Authority is on a scale of 0-1000. 1000 is the highest possible authority.
- Technorati Rank is a site’s rank among the Technorati Authority of all sites. 1 is the highest rank.
The new Technorati authority provides a pulse read on the Authority of Now, so to speak. What’s going to make us think this new system will work? Well, though feedback has been expectedly positive to negative, we actually have reason to think the new benchmark may be working as a current barometer. Take a look at this graphic:
As you can see, I am a team member or author of two top ten thousand (10Kk) ranked blogs, according to Technorati. What’s not surprising is the Buzz Bin’s placement in the 10K. But what is surprising is the appearance of my personal blog.
Why? By no traditional metric – links over six months, traffic, RSS readership, etc. – should this blog be in the 10K. However, 19 days ago we shifted the Buzz Bin to a group blog status. During the immediate ramp up period and for the past few weeks, I have been blogging much more regularly on the personal blog, and sure enough traffic and interest has increased.
Technorati’s new rankings reflect this relatively recent change. It delivers an accurate barometer of not only the Buzz Bin’s continued performance over the past few weeks, but also my personal blog’s traffic as well as outbound and inbound links in a generally accurate fashion.
The implications for bloggers (new and old) are simple, now more than ever you cannot afford to rest on your laurels. Older bloggers still have the advantage with established RSS readerships, legacy posts and links, etc. from a traffic perspective, and thus, a better ability to influence current links. But now, newer entrants will have a much easier time measuring relevance through the ultimate currency – hyperlinks.
That in turn will force the Technorati 100 to be much more responsive to their communities. Let’s just hope Technorati’s spam bots are able to weed out the black hat SEO types.
Hmm, maybe they actually came up with a better system for now. At the same, time, I think authority needs to reflect past performance. What happens if someone goes dark for a maternity or paternity leave? Does all of their past work simply not matter? What do you think?