Here is an interview with David Sifry, the founder and CEO of Technorati. In this interview he explains what Technorati does as well as the practices of good blogging. Here are his Favorites Ironically, he doesn’t post to his blog too often! But, there are several interesting charts there.
- Question: How many blogs does Technorati check?
Answer: Currently, we’re indexing over forty-seven million blogs, and the numbers are growing by about 100,000 new blogs each day. You can always see the most up-to-date numbers on our homepage.
- Question: How do you check them?
Answer: Technorati works based on a different principle than most traditional search engines like Google and Yahoo. Instead of going out and spending a lot of time crawling the web looking for blogs that have changed, Technorati gets notified (“pinged”) whenever anyone using one of the most popular publishing tools creates or modifies her blog.We’ve worked very hard with the folks who create publishing tools and services like Six Apart, WordPress, Blogger, MSN Spaces, Blogware, Yahoo! 360, Radio Userland, AOL’s Journals and AIM Pages, and dozens of others to make this happen. We make sure that we immediately index the blog whenever a person using one of those services makes an update.We do supplement this with some crawling of a few blogs that don’t yet have Technorati notification built-in, but in general, those updates are at a lower priority than the updates that we receive from services that work with us.
We call this notification system our high-priority indexing system. If you want to ensure that your blog is indexed in the most timely fashion available, drop a line to your blog hosting or tool provider to make sure that they participate.
- Question: How often do you check blogs?
Answer: For folks using the high-priority sites, postings are indexed in under five minutes. If your service doesn’t ping us, or if you use home-grown software, you can use our manual ping system at http://technorati.com/ping and ping us each time you post. Then we’ll put you in the high-priority queue.If you have a new blog and you use one of the dozens of blog services that ping Technorati, all you have to do is post a message, and we’ll search your blog. To find out if we’ve indexed you correctly, you can go to Blogfinder and put in your blog URL to see if you’re in our index. If you aren’t you might want to drop a line to the support folks at your blog hosting provider asking why not.
- Question: What can a blogger do to ascend the Technorati 100—or simply write a better blog, for that matter?
Answer: There are no hard and fast rules, but I can provide a few guidelines that seem to have worked well for the preponderance of the blogs on the Top 100:
- Post often and post at regular intervals. Ideally at least once a day, or even more often.
- Figure out what kind of blogger you are. Are you a blogger who loves to collect links? Are you an essayist who loves to argue points of articulate new ideas? Are you a storyteller? Are you more comfortable with video, audio, photos, or text, or all three? Try stuff out and see what you feel most comfortable doing, and then try to stick to it.
- Link prolifically. Give your readers the benefit of you preparing all of the source materials for them. Also, if you are rebutting or commenting on someone else’s idea or point, it is a sign of respect to link to them. The hyperlink is becoming a new form of social gesture used between people. Tools like Technorati also help you to find out who has linked to you, so when I see a blogger who has linked to me recently, I’m more inclined to discuss his or her ideas and link back to them, driving traffic and conversation.
- Be honest. There are very few people who can get away with building up personas, and you probably aren’t one of them.
- Write about what you know. It makes for much more engaging and interesting reading. I love blogs like English Cut, because he knows so much about the world of Saville Row and he writes about it.
- Be Passionate. Nobody likes boring writing about boring subjects. First find your passion, then express it on your blog!
- Practice, practice, practice. Your writing or podcasting or videoblogging—whatever will get better as you do it more. Keep it up.
- Get a Technorati watchlist for your blog and for your name. Know when people are talking about you and be able to respond—either in comments on their blog, or even better, on your own blog, with a link to the other blog.
- Get a full-text RSS and Atom feed. Make it easy for people to subscribe to your blog. I’d recommend a service like Feedburner to manage those feeds for you and get you stats.
- Use tagging. Tags are an easy way to create open categories, and they help to make it easier to find your blog. You can get a tutorial with tools here.
- Claim your blog and put in blog tags. This puts you into the world’s largest blog directory, Blogfinder, which already has over two million entries. And it means that if you write authoritatively about a certain topic, you’ll show up pretty high on the list for that topic. Which means you’ll get more traffic and new readers and links.
- Question: What tricks won’t work so people shouldn’t waste their time trying to game the system?
Answer: Oh lots. We’re getting pretty good at finding link farmers—people who create fake blogs that link to one blog or site in order to lift their ranking, for example. Also, we can find automatically-generated content, like syndicated information from other blogs that you violate the copyright to get.Another ploy is to try to use all of the Technorati top search terms in a single post, to get people to see that post. This kind of SEO generally doesn’t work for long and it won’t get you lots of respect, which is what you want in the blogosphere.
- Question: Why does it matter if a blogger pings Technorati when she updates her blog?
Answer: It means that we’ll be able to immediately add your blog to our high-priority indexing queue to index your blog as quickly as possible. This means you’ll get credit for being the first person to say something, for example. It also means that the people you link to will learn that you linked to them as quickly as possible too.
- Question: If a blogger finds links that are not on any of the main blog hosting sites, should she manually ping Technorati to ensure that they are counted?
Answer: Sure, but please ping us with the main page or homepage of the blog, not the article itself. We’re pretty good at picking up the actual article if you give us the main page URL. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see results immediately after a ping—sometimes the sites are not blogs. Also, if you’re using homebuilt software, our spider may have a hard time picking up the posts.Occasionally we have a real blog that we falsely classify as spam. In that case, drop us a line via our support mechanism with the blog that you think should be indexed, and we’ll have a look. Our FAQ is here.
- Question: Why does the ranking number here never match what’s here?
Answer: Sorry about that! That’s a bug. We’re working on a whole bunch of fixes to that and also to make sure that your link counts and that rankings are updated much more frequently. Keep checking back with us for more information.
- Question: What do you think of quid pro quo reciprocal linking and blogrolling?
Answer: I don’t see the harm in it, but I also don’t look at blogging as a game—so if you think that your readers will get something out of a blog that you blogroll, then go for it. I really don’t care if the person links back to me—I’d rather they did it because they liked my writing than because of a quid pro quo.
- Question: Can’t Technorati put out a widget or browser bar across more operating systems and browsers to more broadly measure which blogs people read so we don’t have to depend on Alexa?
Answer: That’s a great question. If I find out that there are some great venture capitalists out there who operate out of a garage that would love to see that happen, perhaps they want to put a stack of $100 bills in an envelope and we’ll build it… ;-)
- Question: On a scale of 1-10 where 10 means that I should check into the Betty Ford Clinic for dependence on Technorati stats, how would you rate me?
Answer: You’re a perfectly healthy, strapping young man, Mr. Kawasaki!