I’ve been a fan of Technorati for a long time. Having been an early exec at Nielsen BuzzMetrics (aka Nielsen Online), I was long envious of Technorati’s success as a currency of the blogosphere — both in calling market size (number of blogs indexed) and popularity (number of inbound links to any blog). Heck, I recall multiple times where network television cited Technorati stats as the “source.” While Technorati never competed for dollars or clients with our pioneering BuzzMetrics business in the research world, it still claimed credit for the most authoritative blogger rankings, heralding in the so-called “A-listers.” My own endeavors in blogging were benefited by the navigation and stats that Technorati offered.
Sadly, Technorati’s status as a barometer has faded. According to TechCrunch, the company is pitching itself around for another round of financing while simultaneously shopping itself for an outright buyer. Moreover, Technorati will redirect focus to its core blogging audience and make the site the anchor of a new blog advertising network.
I’ve believed for years that Technorati’s greatest potential would be in credentialing bloggers in an advertising context — bringing them validation otherwise tough to come by in a media-buying market that doesn’t value high-quality niche sites. Technorati has a lot in its favor:
- a recognized and trusted brand
- a massive database of blogger profiles with sophisticated linking behavioral metrics
- true blogger DNA.
But Technorati also has some hurdles:
- potential publisher partners are interested only in making the most money
- publishers are interested in ad-networks that present the least amount of hassle
- bloggers have limited attention amidst a flooding sea of ad-network choices
As the author of a reasonably active blog, the couple of ad-network invitations I receive monthly underscore inevitable consolidation among the hundreds out there. It leads me to believe that Technorati could have its greatest impact by partnering up with another potential ad network, particularly one with true branding and PPC advertising sales in its DNA. That’s something Technorati doesn’t have.
I wish Technorati the best of luck. If invited to its new ad network, I’ll be sure to give it a trial run.
Below are some Technorati adoption indicators from a variety of public data sources published on the day of this post:
Google Trends: 12 month trend of searches for “technorati”
BlogPulse: six-month trend of blog citations for “technorati”
Compete.com: 12-month trend of visitors to Technorati.com