How much trust do I give Technorati?

A week ago, I started this new blog in preparation for moving house, so to speak, from NevOn where I’ve been blogging since mid 2004. As I mentioned in the first post here, I will be completing the move soon and be blogging only from here (during the coming week is the plan).

Given that I made no announcement or commentary on my current primary blog regarding this imminent move, it’s been interesting to me in seeing how quickly this new blog was discovered by other bloggers, all of whom made encouraging, helpful and amusing posts and comments on my re-born "newbie blogger" status (thanks, everyone!).

I’ve also found it interesting to see the continuing discrepancy in Technorati’s information about this new blog. When I started it, Technorati didn’t note any links to it from any other site. Well, hardly surprising – it was brand new and there were no links.

A week on, Technorati still says there are 0 links from 0 sites. Yet according to other Technorati data, there are 17 links as of today as this image shows:

Technorati links 19-2-06

Note the conflicting information – it says there are 17 links, and also says there are zero links. I believe the 17 figure as you can actually see the posts or blogrolls and, therefore, see the links.

What does this say about Technorati’s data? Well, frankly, it gives me cause to doubt the validity of what Technorati is telling me. If there is this discrepancy, why should I trust anything Technorati says (including today’s 3,219 rank for NevOn)?

But does all of this really matter? Even though people use Technorati’s profiles to get a sense of a particular blog or blogger’s popularity (certainly not to be confused with that blog or bloggers’ influence or authority – different things entirely), this is not about raw numbers.

Or maybe it is. Maybe you should use Technorati’s profile information purely as a raw-number view, and take it with a pinch of salt as well, as far as trusting it is concerned.

Anyway, whatever Technorati says, I’ll be blogging solely from here very soon.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Nicole Simon

    Well, Technorati is flaky at best in this regard. Links drop in and out and I don’t know how they can be inconsistent, research show different numbers on feeds, etc.

    While I am complaining about it on the one hand, I am well aware that it is a huge amount of work to deal with it.

    It is the best we have for the moment and I am *really* sure that David Sifry and his team do everything they can and as well try really hard to keep up with everything coming into the system of them.

    Trust them? Well. Kind of. Just start with how many non english blogs are not really listed in there? I do have direct comparison with my German blog – although it has much more links, Technorati is much better in “collecting” referring links for my English blogs …

  2. neville

    Valid points, Nicole, and I’m not knocking Technorati and the complexity of how they do what they do.

    But when I see a discrepancy like this on my little ol’ blog, it concerns me. I’ve been observing such stats during the past week (I do pay attention to such things, as everyone does), seeing other bloggers’ posts and links to this blog increasing during the week, yet Technorati still says zero links.

    So clearly while I’m not distrusting all the information you see on Technorati, I do have concerns. Take Steve Rubel, for instance. His profile today shows Micro Persuasion at number 87 of all blogs Technorati tracks. Yet if you then visit Technorati’s Top 100 popular blogs list, he’s listed at number 65.

    As I said in this post, though, I’m not losing any sleep over this, ie, where I may appear in whatever ranking. I’m more concerned with finding an answer to my question: So what information do I trust?

  3. Constantin

    Neville, it’s interesting that despite the problems you mentioned regarding the accuracy of data provided by blog search engines, the rankings based on these data are taken at face value and are used by businesses as indicators for “authority.”

    Two (recent) examples:

    # Weber Shandwick’s press release on hiring Jeremy Pepper mentions that his blog “is currently one of the top 20 most popular PR blogs, ranked in the top 15 percent of the world’s most actively linked blogs (”;

    # Richard Edelman’s posting on Steve Rubel’s new position at Edelman PR notes that “he has developed a unique brand in the blogosphere, now ranking in the top echelon of all bloggers according to Technorati data.”

  4. neville

    It’s true, Constantin, such stats do seem to be taken at face value by everyone. I do it myself – when I’m running workshops about social media, or speaking at conferences for instance, I frequently quote Technorati stats.

    To say again what I mentioned to Nicole, I’m not knocking Technorati nor am I anti-Technorati. Far from it.

    I’m just trying to understand why the discrepancy in the information I’m seeing when I check on the links I can see coming to this blog, and what Technorati says. And that discrepancy does produce doubts in my mind about trusting other information.

    As I write this comment today, my Technorati profile still says 0 links from 0 sites. Yet a search on this domain within Technorati itself now shows 19 links.

    But I’m not going to dwell more on this at the moment. More concerned with getting this new blog fully functional and completing the switchover!

  5. Kami Huyse

    I asked Technorati this very question and I was told by Niall the following:

    “We try to recalculate blog link counts about once a week. Your blog was recounted yesterday morning and we now display a count of 54 links from 31 sites to your blog over the last 6 months.”

    This was sent to me on 1/18/2006 and it wasn’t updated again until last week, which now shows my Technorati Rank at 44,487 (116 links from 48 sites).

    So, it looks like once a month, or once every other week at best.

    The links in the searched seem to be links within a certain timframe as mine currently says 42 links.

    In other words, I don’t think the links shown on searches and the links counted in linkrank are the same.

    I also wonder why you can’t “take your links with you” to a new platform and URL? The current method really encourages platform loyalty, which is nice for the platform providers, but not so great for users.

    Steve Ruble lamented this at his blog shortly before he announced his move to Edelman. I am sure it was at top of mind as CooperKatz and Edelman were negotiating for his URL.

    I guess I am crying about it because I am tied to Blogger, a platform I chose early on for its ease. Oh well, at lease feedburner will help you keep your subscribers.

  6. neville

    That’s interesting, Kami, and thanks for sharing it.

    I can understand the once-a-week or thereabouts calculation. What I don’t understand is the discrepancy in Technorati’s own data where one part of their site says once thing, and another part of the site says something else. That’s illustrated by the graphic I included in this post.

    As for taking your ranking with you if you do move to a new address, well, that indeed would be a perfect solution. The ranking then would not be tied to a location, eg, a particular platform. (Which is another good reason to have your own domain name which you can map to the address of whatever blog platform you use, and which is also easily portable.)

    But I do understand that what Technorati does isn’t something just done on the fly, so to speak. It is complex. To me, at least ;)

    Not just Technorati, either. Take BlogPulse, for instance. This new blog isn’t ranked at all yet in the BlogPulse Profiles. No doubt it’ll get there at some point.

  7. Dan Hill

    I noticed Technorati’s reliability start to shake once the number of blogs it tracked started to be dynamic. Last year I found it was really on the ball.

    Today it is “Search 28.4 million blogs for the latest on:” but that figure used to be static at 23.1 million or something like that for weeks or months.

    The Technorati Rank (x links from y sites) is now shot. Last year, I’m pretty sure it updated daily.

    I’ve also noted that the blogs that are on the popular page have this record updated.

    Most likely a case of “best placed” resource allocation. Keeping 100 blogs with up to date information is a different animal from 28.4 million…

    Ranking aside, the more scary part is the inconsistency in the linking posts. Kami linked to me on Monday and it showed up at first, disappeared for a day and then came back yesterday.

    To give indicative status only, that’s how much you should trust Technorati at the moment.

  8. neville

    Good points, Dan.

    It is the inconsistencies that concern me. Without knowing anything about how Technorati actually works, it’s impossible to understand those inconsistencies and why they happen.

    It is all about trust.

  9. Up a million steps in one go at

    […] Just before I launched this blog, I noted that my Technorati ranking had disappeared beyond the solar system as I started from scratch here. As inbound links started coming in as the blog was discovered by people (before I said anything about it), I began to question my trust in Technorati’s information as it continued to show no connectivity. […]

  10. Dharmesh Shah

    I have the exact same problem, and I don’t think its just a “we’re updating it every week or so problem”.

    My startup blog: was claimed on Technorati on February 16th. The site has “44 sites that link to it” based on Technorati’s own data. Yet the “ranking” is based on 0 links from 0 sites.

    This has been over 3 weeks, and there’s no indication anywhere that its ever going to get updated. I can understand if there’s a “lag” based on volume of sites, but they should provide some indication as to what the backlog is and when new sites can expect to have their rank updated.

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