I used to visit Technorati very often. Almost daily, now that I think about it.
I can’t identify one big factor that contributed to that lost of interest, so probably we are talking about several causes. Here are some that come into into my mind.
1. Technical problems
Sometime ago I started having frequent technical problems with their tracking engine. At times my blogs would not update for several days in a row. Once in a while they would also disappear completely from the system. I still could see the links to them, but if you clicked there you would get this message:
We’re sorry…we don’t have a blog by that name. If this is your blog, ping us so we can put it in our index!
Contacting the support center about it was a waste of time as well, I would always receive the same canned message (from a computer I assume).
2. No clear purpose
When I first discovered Technorati it was really exciting to go through the “blog reactions” page. It would allow me to see all the blogs that were linking to me, which articles were getting the most attention and so on.
Over the time, however, this feature became less and less useful. I log into my WordPress control panel several times in a day, so I can track the incoming links from the Dashboard. Moreover, as your blog grows you will find yourself with less and less time to spend checking who is linking to your blog.
So what is Technorati all about? If you read their “About us” page, here is their definition:
Technorati is the recognized authority on what’s happening on the World Live Web, right now. The Live Web is the dynamic and always-updating portion of the Web. We search, surface, and organize blogs and the other forms of independent, user-generated content (photos, videos, voting, etc.) increasingly referred to as “citizen media.”
Well, honestly I think that they ended up spreading themselves too thin. If I want to find blogs or article I will just use Google and not Technorati’s search engine. If I want to find what is hot right now, I will probably just head to Digg of Techmeme.
3. Lack of innovations
We can’t deny that Technorati pioneered the blog tracking model, and until some time ago they were in a very favorable position to shape the whole segment and keep their leadership position.
In order to do so, however, they would need to keep innovating and serving the needs and wants of their visitors in newer and better ways.
That is exactly where they left a lot to be desired. Most changes on Technorati were related to the structure and design of their website, with no breakthrough ideas or significant improvements.
Is there other evidence?
If you visit Technorati you will see many other indicators that things are not going too well for them. They are trying to bump the number of page views artificially, for instance. The list with the Top 100 Popular blogs used to be presented in single page. Recently they restructured it in 10 pages with 10 blogs on each page….
Apparently they are also struggling to sell their advertising space. Sometime ago the site only had direct advertising deals (which is the prefered advertising method for most mainstream website), and now they have Google Adsense all over the place, and several “Advertise with us” links spread through the site.
Finally, if you take a look at their Alexa rank evolution over the past year, things are not shiny there either.
Now don’t get me wrong. I really hope that Technorati manages to shake things up. They helped to promote blogs heavily in the past, and we all should be thankful for it. That being said, they need to start working harder and smarter if they are to get back on track.
What do you think? Do you still use Technorati as you used to?
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