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Saturday, June 28, 2014

What killed Technorati

Technorati has gone the way of The Truth Laid Bear and many of the blogs it once ranked:
Once upon a time, not long ago, anyone in the world who wanted to gauge the relative impact of any blogger—say, HughHewitt.com vs. MichelleMalkin.com or Instapundit vs. Daily Kos or Fark vs. Eschaton—knew exactly where to go for the latest, up-to-the-moment rankings: Technorati. During the salad days of blogging in the first decade of the 21st century, nobody could touch Technorati when it came to searching and sizing up the roiling mass of hot-blooded humanity that came to be known as the blogosphere. You could forget all about the New York Times Best Sellers list. That was dead-tree media ranking other dead trees. The Technorati “Top 100 Blogs” was America’s ultimate guide to influence. It was the scorecard of the hat-tip champions.

Alas, those days are now done.

With little fanfare last month, Technorati quietly shut down its blog directory and rankings.
It's not hard to understand why bloggers eventually lost interest in both blog-ranking systems. I know why I did. Neither system paid sufficient attention to their core market, and both allowed non-blogs to freely enter the rankings, which promptly pushed down the blogs that had once been ranked highly, even when they had considerably more traffic than they did before.  This old post is informational in that regard:
According to Sitemeter, there were 2,000 visits yesterday on only the 12th day of this blog. Thanks for stopping by, everyone! The Truth Laid Bear even had Vox Popoli ranked in the Blogosphere's top 150, much to my surprise.
There were 17,245 Sitemeter visits here and at AG yesterday (40,304 Google Pageviews to use the modern metric), and yet even that 69 percent annual growth probably would not suffice to put me within shouting distance of the top 150 blogs today, much less the big corporate sites.

What both NZ Bear and Technorati should have done was to maintain a very clear distinction between site-rankings and blog-rankings, thereby preventing the situation where the corporate site equivalents of the Dallas Cowboys were being compared to SEC, Ivy League, and high school teams. It simply wasn't even remotely meaningful for the proprietor of a little sewing blog or whatever to be informed that Fox News, CNN, and Jezebel got more traffic than she did. What had once been a useful comparison became an irrelevant statement of the obvious.

The other problem was sub-par metrics. Technorati, for example, put too much value on links in lieu of actual traffic. That's why blogs like Whatever were so ludicrously overrated (and why their proprietors were always careful to conceal their actual traffic metrics), because they did a good job of cross-linking and driving up their Technorati rating at the expense of less-linked, but better-trafficked blogs.

In any event, to paraphrase Glenn Reynolds, the ranking systems come and go, but we are still here.

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16 Comments:

Anonymous Idle Spectator June 28, 2014 10:02 AM  

So it turned into a high school diploma as a ranking system?

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2014 June 28, 2014 10:45 AM  

Joe Vialls is dead. Which suggests his blog was quite accurate.
Jim Stone is living out of dumpsters, sleeping under bridges presumably - which suggests his blog is worth reading.
VD "seems" safer in Europe than he might be in America.
Geert Wilders is under 24 hour protection for slightly different "non team player" reasons.
Kent Hovind got diesel therapied, and ten years to contemplate IRS targeting, for his blogospheric and media inputs.
Arron Russo died youngish and from not entirely natural causes it would seem.
Waco went up in flames/ but maybe that was all before blogs existed and is off topic.
Compartmentalisation suggests those who conduct high profile hits themselves become unnoticed, un-newsworthy, low profile targets - with information permanently lost.
Interested to hear a top ten of conservative, truther, websites actually worth reading.

While truth might be rather disturbing, the alternative is quite awful. So who are the ten best reads from those with eyes wide open?

Anonymous VD June 28, 2014 11:09 AM  

I'm not inclined to poke my nose where it is likely to get chopped off. I'm simply not one of those people who believes that "if the people only knew X, they would rise up in revolution".

Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. I think people will go along to get along as long as is humanly possible no matter what they know about the nefarious doings of one elite or another. I'm just curious about how long IS humanly possible. As I have said for years, 2033 is my rough estimate on the basis of currency lifespans.

History is the record of elites doing terrible, self-serving things, until they screw up and terrible things are done to them. I see no reason to believe that the decline of the Pax Americana will be any different.

Anonymous VD June 28, 2014 11:18 AM  

Also, Russo died of cancer that he'd been fighting for years, while Hovind didn't even register his "non-profit" as a non-profit. There are genuine conspiracies, past and present, but those are not two of them.

That being said, if you insist on sufficiently pissing off those in power, they will attempt to make you regret it. That's not news or conspiracy, it is simple common sense. Insult the coach of a sports team, he'll bench you. Do it again, he'll cut you. Government agencies are no different. My father learned that the hard way.

Anonymous Roundtine June 28, 2014 11:25 AM  

So it turned into a high school diploma as a ranking system?

It sounds more like they turned a microscope into a 35mm camera.

Anonymous YIH June 28, 2014 11:26 AM  

From the link:
For the onetime kingmaker of the Little Green Footballs set, it’s an ignominious development.
Says it all, right there.

Blogger Bogey June 28, 2014 3:14 PM  

That being said, if you insist on sufficiently pissing off those in power, they will attempt to make you regret it. That's not news or conspiracy, it is simple common sense. Insult the coach of a sports team, he'll bench you. Do it again, he'll cut you. Government agencies are no different. My father learned that the hard way.

You said it. It's just not worth the hassle. Unless called upon by God, let him handle the bigger stuff and pray he lets you carve out a little niche for yourself while in this world.

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 28, 2014 4:21 PM  

Vox, just tried posting a comment twice based on my online-marketing background. Everything's OK?

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 28, 2014 4:22 PM  

Trying to repost in parts.

Oy, Vox, I've got so many things I want to say since my day job is leading the Internet-marketing practice for a global agency.

I doubt it will interest many people. But here's a short history of Internet marketing.

1.0. Websites were judged based largely on traffic. If my site gets 1 million visits a month and yours gets 500,000, then I'm better than you! So marketers chased traffic.

The reality: Not all traffic is created equal. I'd rather get 5,000 visitors a month from people who are genuinely interested in my product than 500,000 visitors who are not. Plus, early online marketers focused on keyword-spamming. For Vox's site, for example, the theory would be to insert text like "libertarian blog" or "economics blog" or "science-fiction author" all over the place. That worked for a while but thankfully has been discounted by Google.

2.0. Websites were judged based on links. Google views a link from one site to another as a "vote" for that site. So, marketers began chasing links. Back when Google was less smart, spammers (by other names such as black-hat SEOs) would insert links (with desired keyword anchor-text) into blog comments, website footers, sidebars, and a lot more. It worked for a while.

The reality: Thankfully, Google killed this too. Not all links are created equal. A link from an authoritative site (say, The New York Times) "counts" for a lot more than a link in some random website's blog. Plus, too many manipulated links will get you penalized and/or banned by Google.

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 28, 2014 4:23 PM  

3.0. My opinion. Today, we're at a point where building an online brand is what matters more than traffic, keywords, or links. Google wants to think like a human and not like an algorithm, so we need to think accordingly. The more that a person or website can build a natural, authoritative brand on a certain topic via traditional methods such as public relations, community, content and more, the more that it will gain prominence in the online world. It's about real stuff and not just traffic, keywords, and links.

I could write 10,000 words on this, so I'll stop now. I don't want to promote myself, but if anyone's truly interested, I can send links to my various writings on the topic. It's a passion of mine. :)

Anonymous Samuel Scott June 28, 2014 4:32 PM  

Never mind, guess it was the length of the comment.

Blogger Jim, June 28, 2014 5:10 PM  

Hope your dad is holding up OK. Prayers out to him and your family for an early release from the US gulag system.

Anonymous Idle Spectator June 28, 2014 5:42 PM  

It sounds more like they turned a microscope into a 35mm camera.

So they took something accurate and rigorous, and made it unable to differentiate, like a high school diploma?

Anonymous Anon-m-US June 28, 2014 9:12 PM  

"History is the record of elites doing terrible, self-serving things, until their screw ups finally cause terrible things to be done to them."

Blogger Doom June 30, 2014 2:40 AM  

Gosh, if I had some mojo on tap regularly, I would sure consider getting into that business, with that notion in mind. Fame, possibly a small fortune, could be had. A lot of work, and keeping on top of things would be tight. Guiding people who were other people really are going. Then again, if someone isn't doing that, perhaps there is a reason? Government? Corporate? Lots of money and power pushing and shoving in a lot of venues right now.

Then again, I'm thinking that blogging is dying out. At first I thought it was other social media, and I think there was some of that. Add in burnout. But toss in the Great Depression 2.0, civil unrest on the tips of tongues, and it seems as if there are fewer folk online. Plus, with privacy concerns, it's becoming very difficult to track who is even viewing. At about 2k visitors a month, half of those who comment don't even show up as having visited. Go figure. (Few comments, mind you, but that is just crazy... using blogger measures... the others don't track "foreign" visits, most of which are probably American redirects... probably. And account for from 25% to 125% of visits depending on the month. Gah!)

Never mind.

Anonymous rho July 01, 2014 1:09 AM  

Deep linking your own content was pretty interesting, VD. Your style has changed quite a bit, but the tone is familiar.

I got a huge laugh when you mentioned other folks suggesting Mandrake. I recall those years when earnest nerds prophesied the Next Great Thing; once it was Mandrake, then Gentoo. Good times.

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