OnStartups

How I Broke In To The Technorati 10,000

Posted by Dharmesh Shah on June 13, 2006 24 Comments


Apologies for the somewhat off-topic nature of this post.  I generally make it a point to only write articles that I think would be interesting and useful to my readers.  This one’s in the gray area.  If you’re not the forgiving type, you can safely ignore this article.  We’ll go back to our regularly scheduled startup-centric content tomorrow.  (For the record, my “signal vs. noise” ratio on this blog is, I think, pretty high.  Unlike some blogs I know).

How I Broke In To The Technorati 10,000
 
Quick Answer:  Writing, Writing, Writing. 
 
Didn’t want to  trick you into reading this entire article, so I thought I’d share the quick answer up front.  Fact is, I didn’t do anything special (other than post content regularly that I thought would be interesting to my readers).  No aces up my sleeve and no “super-secret squirrel codes” that I can share with you to raise your Technorati ranking.  I’m not even sure being in the top 10,000 blogs is all that big a deal – but stated differently, that I’m in the top 1% of all blogs being ranked, sounds a wee bit better.  It impresses my friends and family, anyways.

Brief history:  This blog was first started on November 5, 2005 (so it’s about 7 months old).  Sometime earlier this year, I “claimed” the blog on Technorati.  I kept hearing about Technorati and it’s rankings, so I figured it would be another good way to build visibility for the blog as evidently many users use Technorati as their primary search engine for blogs.  Personally, I hadn’t had much success with Technorati, but I figured hundreds of thousands of other people couldn’t all be wrong.

When the blog was first claimed, my Technorati rank was about 1.1 million.   That is to say, out of the 17 million odd blogs that Technorati claimed to be ranking, I was in the top 1.1 million.  Not really much to brag about.  I’m guessing this was probably driven by just a couple of  random links to the blog at the time.

Since then, I’ve been monitoring my ranking (though I’m not as obsessed with it as I am my RSS subscriber count or my web traffic volume).  Within a couple of months, I had moved to 220,000.  A couple of months after that, and I was at about 18,000.

And now, here I am at Technorati Rank #9,832.  

So, what does all this mean?  I have no clue.  Not sure if my performance was about average or what.  Further, I still am not convinced that the Technorati ranking is really a particularly accurate measure of a blog’s popularity.  From what I know, it does not weigh inbound links, but just counts them.  I would think that if Guy Kawasaki ever linked to me, it should be worth more than if I got a link from some random blog with minimal popularity.

There are a few things that I’d like to note regarding Technorati and my experience with it:
  1. I didn’t really make any conscious effort to “lift” my rankings (as there was really no big motivation to do so).  However, it would seem that this would be easy to do, if one were properly motivated.

  1. There has been only one time (that I know of) that I actually moved backwards in the rankings (I went from 10,000 something back to 11,000 something for a little while).  Other than that, it seems to be a progressive “climb”, which I’m guessing is fairly common.

  1. To this day,  I have gotten almost  zero site traffic from Technorati.  This may mean that like Google, if you’re not on the first few “hits” for a search, it really doesn’t matter.  Perhaps if I ever break through into the Technorati 1,000, things will be different.

  1. Technorati is still pretty much hit or miss for me in terms of the site even working.  I’ve read that I’m not the only one having this experience.  I can understand that dealing with the kind of traffic they do is non-trivial, but still…

  1. As far as I can tell, there is no real regularity as to when the rankings themselves get updated.  This seems to be pretty random too.  Sometimes it’s the next day, and other times, several days can go by before the number is updated.  I’m also unsure as to whether only blogs that have been “claimed” impact the Technorati ranking, or if it reaches beyond that and finds all the “unregistered” blogs out there by doing some type of spidering.

  1. I like how Technorati provides a simple API so that one can programmatically determine ranking (and information about the inbound links).  If I cared enough about this, or thought it would bring value to my HubSpot clients, I’d likely build some type of simple monitoring tool that tracked this stuff.  But, I don’t, so I haven’t.  I have built something simple to track Google rankings for specific phrases, because people seem to be interested in this.
That’s it.  No brilliant insight.  Not sure if there’s any to be had.

Summary of my Point:  I made it to the Technorati 10,000.  You can too.  But, still not sure that it matters at all and will surely not impact your startup in any appreciable way.