Technorati Top 100 shuffle still needs more work

Photo by The Wandering Angel. Much ado is being made over the Technorati “bug fix” two days ago. However, much more work by Technorati needs to be done.

The fix was to count sub-domains separately from their parent domain. No one but the losers of ranking on the Top 100 have really anything negative to say about that because, in most people’s minds, this is how the ranking should have been done all along.

However, Technorati claims that their blog ranking system is for the purpose of ranking authority of different blogs. Notice I didn’t say “websites”, but “blogs”. But, what constitutes a blog?

More and more, that distinction is blurring. But can we agree that, at it’s core, a blog is a two-way conversation? Top bloggers, however, are starting to get away from the conversation and are, quite arguably, running a one-sided podium.

This has got to stop. My feeling is that once a blogger disables or severely hampers comments, they cease from becoming a blog and morph into nothing more than a celebrity website author. Granted, at some point, certain folks might be so popular that managing comments is truly a pain. It’s a little bewildering that some bloggers don’t allow comments when huge sites like the Daily Kos and TechCrunch somehow manage. Technorati should start making a distinction.


Top-ranked blogger and author Seth Godin (#15) hasn’t allowed comments on his blog for years. Mega-blogger Steve Pavlina (#641) stopped commenting last year when he formed a forum instead. So, you have to go into a separate bulletin board system to comment on the articles. Huh? Needless to say, I’ve not bothered to comment anymore since then. That isn’t a blog, either. It’s a website with an attached forum, and if Pavlina can get away with a Technorati “blog” ranking, so should millions of other sites.

Then, there is some “blog” called Daring Fireball (#98) which is some kind of continual list of external links with summaries about Apple news - and no comments allowed.

I’m fans of both Godin and Pavlina and read their “blogs” frequently. But it grates a bit to see them be so far-removed from the conversationalist atmosphere they both once were a part of - and yet able to still displace legitimate bloggers in Technorati’s ranking. As an example, they both have taken rather celebrity attitudes about why they turned off their comments.

It actually wasn’t a tough decision at all. While comments provide a wonderful degree of interactivity with many obvious benefits, I found them not to be worth the effort, especially as traffic grew. - Steve Pavlina (Sep 28, 2005)

So, basically, “I’m popular now. It’s too much trouble. Plus, I gave you guys forums. What more could you want?”

I think comments are terrific, and they are the key attraction for some blogs and some bloggers. Not for me, though. First, I feel compelled to clarify or to answer every objection or to point out every flaw in reasoning. Second, it takes way too much of my time to even think about them, never mind curate them. - Seth Godin (June 3, 2006)

Say what you want about Seth’s reasoning, but the bottom line is he has chosen to no longer run a blog in any traditional sense. While comments got him highly ranked initially with frequently changing pages (as recommended by SEO experts), once he got there, he turned his back.

Technorati’s Search is Broken

Try searching for a blog using Technorati’s search. Your results will not be acceptable. As an example, just looking for Steve’s blog, I typed “Pavlina”, “Steve Pavlina”, and then used quotes (which is the only way you’ll find my blog). I even used the advanced search by URL and nothing was returned. Finally, I just searched through the latest posts until I found one by Steve (instead of about him) and was able to find his Technorati profile that way. If that was the way Google worked, AltaVista would still be the number one search engine on the market.

Lawrence’s Own Ranking

By the way, my Technorati rank is currently 205,230. Maybe I’ll break into the top 200,000 blogs in the coming months. “How exciting”, Lawrence says dryly to himself. Seriously, I do wonder if all the non-blogs over me were eliminated how much higher my rank would be. I also pledge never to turn off comments sitewide, so if you help vault me to a Top 1000 blog, you won’t be disappointed. I won’t turn my back on those that got me to the top.

If anyone knows of any other reliable blog-ranking systems (that don’t require the installation of a script or joining some website), let me know. I’m really interested in doing some comparison studies.

Related posts

Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader. If you don't have a feed reader, I recommend using Google Reader to start. It's free and easy. Otherwise, you can always have these articles delivered to your email inbox every day. Click here to sign up.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

No trackbacks/pingbacks yet.


Technorati actually has my site listed in two different ways. They list my blog as well as my main site, each with a different ranking. I think the main site is ranked in the top 200, while the blog folder has the ranking you listed above. I find that a screwy system, since they really ought to merge them into a single ranking. I’ve told them this too, but so far no change.

As for squelching the discussion, trying to manage the blog commentary via WordPress didn’t work for me — way too much spam and junk once traffic reached a certain point. But the Vbulletin forums work great, and anyone can start their own topics instead of merely replying to mine. With more than 140,000 messages posted so far, there’s far more discussion happening than if I kept using the blog comment system, and it’s much easier to manage.

If I was just starting out with a new blog and it didn’t have much traffic, I’d enable comments too. But for now it’s just too impractical. Vbulletin is a much better way to support a large community IMO.


Thanks for reading, Lawrence, but the fact is, except for one 48 hour period, I never had comments. My explanation is exactly as it seems… it’s a personality flaw. I hope you can forgive me.

OK, I freely admit that I don’t have a whole lot that’s intelligent to say here. I will say, though, that while I fully enable comments on my blog, it gets overwhelming. Once i hit 30, there are so many conversations going on that I get totally confused. Then add another blog post, with two, three, maybe four posts with comments coming directly to my inbox - it’s enough to make me grab the nearest drink.

On the same token, a couple of the really popular blogs I go to that do allow comments are frustrating as the commenter. Not business blogs - not a big deal there - but some of the personal ones. I want to say something that will be heard. When 140 people get there before I do, there hardly seems to be much point.

On a different token, it also drives me crazy that I can’t comment on Seth Godin’s blog. Since I don’t actually subscribe to his blog, I wouldn’t be one of the first 5000 commenters. Yes, it drives me crazy, but there’s probably no other way. With that many people demanding attention, and every blog promotion top 10 list telling people to comment as a marketing strategy, it’s not a conversation anymore. It’s an angry mob.

Stellar points nonetheless. It is a total PITA that Technorati includes blogs that aren’t, well, blogs.

Leave a comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Your e-mail address is never displayed.
HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>