I’m regularly asked why a lawyer client’s Technorati blog rank is dropping and what can be done to improve their blog’s Technorati ranking.

My typical response is don’t worry about. I just emailed a client tonight:

I would not worry about Technorati. I don’t watch my Technorati ranking at all and advise clients to do the same. It would be a vanity contest – assuming that Technorat’s servers and systems were even up to indexing all blog content and the incoming links to blogs. With the failures of their systems their rankings mean little, if anything.

What is a “Technorati Ranking?” (per Technorati site)

A Technorati Ranking relates to the number of sources that point to a particular weblog relative to other weblogs. The more sources referencing a weblog, the higher the Technorati ranking. The Technorati Ranking for a blog is displaying in URL Search results, Blog search results, and is displayed in the account profile.

To me that says nothing more than we’ve created a vanity contest that will cause vain people (many bloggers) to return to Technorati as they try in vain to increase their blog ranking. Maybe we can even get people to post their ranking with our Technorati logo as a badge on their blog. Sounds like Web 2.0. ;)

Having an obligation to clients to find out if I’m right, I looked at what others were saying about Technorati rankings.

From Darren Rowse at Pro Blogger, one of the highest ranked blogs by Technorati, discussing his top 100 ranking:

Does it Increase Profile?

…I’m afraid to say that I’m not aware of any circumstance where any reporter or advertiser approached me as a result of seeing me as #3 on the Most Favorited list.

Does it give Egos a Boost?

It’s always nice to be included in a list and to be in the company of blogs like others featured in the list.

However it’s a somewhat empty achievement to be honest. While I appreciate my readers going to the trouble of marking me a favorite – it’s a list that I suspect will always be skewed in favor of blogs about blogging, web 2.0 and the web because it’s on a site whose users are largely bloggers who are more inclined to read such blogs.

Does the Technorati Top 100 Most Favorited Blog List Drive Traffic?

So does being #3 on this list drive thousands of visitors to ProBlogger?

A quick visit to my stats packages shows that in the scheme of things it’s hardly caused a blip on my traffic radar. Technorati does drive a few hundred readers per month to this blog – but not a single visitor came directly from that the Top 100 Favorites page.

From WordPress’ Matt Mullenweg in a blog comment:

Personally I think it’s silly to get worked up over a made-up ranking on a site full of spam that drives very little traffic, especially if you’re not in the top 100.

And finally from Steve Rubel in an audio interview where interviewer Andy Plesser mentioned being depressed by his low Technorati ranking:

You get depressed about your Technorati – (Laughs)

Well, you know, I really don’t try to think a lot about Technorati rankings because I think it’s just, you know, if you – again, if you’re providing, you know, high value content that people want, it doesn’t matter how many links you’re getting. It doesn’t matter. As long as you’re fulfilling the wishes of your audience. And I think that’s what you have to look at above and beyond everything and if you’re doing that and doing that consistently, you know, you will get links and accolades. But if you’re – if you’re doing it just for that, it’s the wrong reason. So I, you know, try not to pay attention to that and just really do – just put out there a good product that people want.

After this research, my opinions are stronger than ever. Any of you guys see value in a Technorati ranking?

Update from Steve Rubel’s tweet of this post: ‘General consensus from replies is that people don’t use T’Rati anymore. It’s not their fault. The web world simply changed.’

  • I agree, Kevin. It’s a very crude system and if you’re in a niche you’re never going to climb very high. The only time my ranking climbed significantly was when a batch of splogs scraped some of my posts and linked back to me. Ah, the devastation when they fell off the edge of the blogosphere!

  • Ike

    It’s useful if it gives you information about who is linking to you.
    It’s useful if you look at it as an internal metric, measuring your performance over time. Then the server burps and glitches don’t matter so much.
    I will say that Technorati finds many links and references that Google Blog Search does not.

  • No. Not all bloggers create links to sites they frequent. IMHO most lists of links (including my own) are kind of dumb anyway. For example, what would the point be of adding kottke.org to a list of links on a blog? Most people know who he is anyway.

  • Kevin:
    On a slightly different subject, how important do you think Google ranking is?

  • Does Technorati rank matter? Once I was approached by the new French tv station France24 to get an exclusive tour of the studios, together with 10 other bloggers from different countries. They wanted a blogger from Belgium and they had used the Technorati rank to make a shortlist.
    Technorati rank may not be perfect, but sometimes people use the simplest and best known tool they have when they have to make a selection.