Timely changes from Technorati

Blog search engine Technorati relaunched itself yesterday. All the details are in Dave Sifry’s post. Here’s a highlight that sets the scene for understanding what Technorati has done:

[…] the world has changed. 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. They want all the good stuff out there, all in real-time, and we’re using the power of 80 million bloggers to help organize it and make it fun to browse; using the wisdom of crowds as a mirror on ourselves.

No longer is the focus on blogs. You have been able to dig for other content for a while but Sifry’s explanation makes it clearer how he’s now positioning Technorati.

A new feature I like is the refreshed Technorati Search. A very clean and simple interface that focuses entirely on the term you want to search for just in blogs.

Very similar to Google’s search page, really. No distracting visual elements as was the case before.

I read Steve Rubel’s take on the new Technorati where he believes the days of link authority have become less relevant. I agree especially when you can’t entirely trust the data you see, an oft-voiced complaint about Technorati. This stems mostly, I think, from a lack of understanding about how Technorati calculates its link rankings. I’m certainly confused some of the time although Technorati’s explanation about the Technorati authority system a few weeks ago makes things a lot clearer.

While Steve’s long view may well be right, I believe link authority is still a good general measure of the influence level of a blogger when used in tandem with other metrics.

And what about Steve’s gaze into the near future following the launch of Google’s universal search algorithm?

[…] the heyday of dedicated “live web” search engines like Technorati is coming to a close. Technorati’s best bet going forward is to hook its technology into engines that can scan the archived web. That’s where the world is going and what searchers want.

Makes a lot of sense.