The Technorati dance

I have been using Technorati since it was running on servers powered by Dave Sifry’s hamsters, and it remains an essential part of my blogging existence. The company recently rolled out a spiffy new design for its service. Hooray.

But: Why are the results still so…unstable? Since I am the perpetrator of a recent blog-address move I’ve been trying to keep an eye on how many, and which, other bloggers have updated the address that they link to me with. (I know it’s a pain; I’ve been guilty of plenty of blogroll-rot myself, though it’s an easier job keeping it up to date now that I’ve outsourced it to Bloglines’ widget.)

What I’m finding is that, depending on the hour of the day, sometimes I will get a list of results from T-rati that’s reasonably up to date and trustworthy, and sometimes I will get a list that’s just wacky — full of results that just don’t seem to have anything to do with my blog, no links evident, no overlapping subject matter, nothing. Furthermore, the results that I get from the T-rati site sometimes differ significantly from those that turn up in the RSS feed that represents that search.

Is this fallout from the monumental war I know Technorati must be waging on the depredations of blog-spammers and spam-blogs? Is it a symptom of some general structural problem with the service’s design, or just side-effects of the company’s constant scaling-up efforts to keep pace with the blogosphere’s exponential growth?

Or is there some deeper logical pattern hidden within the seemingly irrelevant pages T-rati is claiming point to my blog — some guy’s Nirvana playlist; A non-English-language page with a photo of Andrea Bocelli singing “Besame Mucho”; Debby’s World’s list of “34 things worth knowing” — and if only I could decipher that pattern, I could achieve perfect bliss, or at least a more rarefied Technorati ranking?
[tags]technorati, blogging[/tags]

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  1. Scott, sorry about this. We have seen this happen transiently, and it has been very hard to track down – the feed reader will freeze it in the act, but when we check the site it looks OK.
    We have pinned down the cause to an occasional synchronisation mismatch between 2 of our backend systems, and are working to make sure it doesn’t happen any more.
    Thanks for your patience, and appreciation of the serendipity.

  2. I noticed my most recent inbound links go from a day ago to about a week ago over night recently. The counts seemed the same.

    One thing I like about Technorati is they seem to comment on everybody’s blog that writes about a problem. It makes it seem like they care and are doing something about it.

  3. I noticed the same thing this week…for a while it looked like I was being linked to primarily by a combination of porn sites and MySpace pages. I also noticed that at one point this week the NUMBER of links coming to my page seemed to take a sudden drop, then jumped back to where it was. Weird. Are there any other sites that do any similar tracking?

  4. I’ve been experiencing this for about a year. At first I thought it was some weird attempt at spam, but since then I’ve seen enough trustworthy sites randomly show up in my search feed to know it’s just corrupt data.

    Glad they’re working on it.

  5. Mark

    I’ve been tracking my site against some competing sites that use the same tag. Depending on the time of day, the top sites will disappear from the list — always the same ones.

    Another problem: the recent phenomenon of blog roll rings where blogs display a blog roll that contains their site and all other participants. Such sites rocket to the top of rankings. This is basically a neo-link farm.

    As someone said above, Technorati does not respond to comments or complaints. I think it’s just going to get worse now that their big Google/Yahoo/Microsoft/Amazon acquisition dreams have faded, their staff is shrinking, and it’s just become a 9-to-5 job.

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