Technorati and Authority

Did anyone notice how Technorati is now showing an Authority score for blogs? I searched for it on Technorati, which took me to this blog talking about the feature, which seems to indicate it’s an alias for number of unique blogs linking in the past 180 days. It would be neat if the number had a little more secret sauce.

So using the new number, has 634,821 unique active blogs linking to it, and has 496,462. Given that I know we have 931,951 live blogs on, Technorati seems to indicate that about 53% of them are active, which seems within the realm of possibility. However I don’t think the same methodology works for all sites, for example Livejournal which claims 12,877,330 live blogs only shows up with 481,843 in the last 6 months in Technorati, seems unusually far below their million blogs updated in the past 1 month, even taking into account a huge number may be private.

27 thoughts on “Technorati and Authority

  1. thank you for digging up the details on this feature- i was pretty sure that authority meant what it does, but there was no documentation on technorati itself, so i was a tad confused. they need to announce new features, or at least document them, its kind of silly really.

  2. Thanks for the info Matt! I also noticed the new authority and was wondering what the hell it was all about. So, for every inbound link, 1 is added to the sites authority. If your site had 6000 inbound in the last 6 months, your authority would be 6000.

    Is that right?

  3. I hate that it’s called “authority,” which implies much more than simple “interest” or “connectedness.” This really is just a measure of degrees of interconnectedness with the rest of the blogosphere and doesn’t indicate anything like authoritativeness.

    To get that kind of qualitative metric, though, we’d need to have active measurements of a blog’s conversation index, the size of it’s active-reading community (subscribers and return visitors), and it’s traffic patterns. All hard to get at easily from afar.

    Also, this “authority” ranking doesn’t take into account the overall size of the blogosphere. An authority index of 100 when there are only 1,000 active blogs means something totally different when there are 50 million blogs. But the rank would be identical in either case.

    I guess I shouldn’t care overmuch, though. It’s still a useful number and my blogging isn’t about the metrics anyhow. Or at least it shouldn’t be, but I get compuslive about this sort of thing. :: sigh ::


  4. Your figures for the number of unique links may well be accurate, but that doesn’t mean that those from Technorati are wrong. Technorati only updates the number of unique links to a weblog when the linker sends in a ping to them: Technorati doesn’t go out searching, it waits for the invite. It may well be that many of the LJ blogs, for example, do not ping Technorati at all and, therefore, do not add to the authoprity of the weblog they are linking to.

  5. Technorati, has in many ways created an Authorative front for itself. The number of blogs it claims to have indexed, is a proof to an extent. But a look at the ‘TOP 100’ blogs, gives an impression, of being ‘BIAS’ or maybe TECHNORATI wants to keep that static. After all, these blogs have created an authority for themselves.

  6. I am not sure if I like it or not. Because although people with a high ranking usually stays consistent about their posting habits, it isn’t a sure thing.

  7. Yeah, we noticed it when we looked at one of our blogs and then Technorati froze up when we tried to look at my blog. They really cannot handle the busy times of the day.

    I agree with Rich. I hate that they call their rankings “best” “top” and “authority” when it’s not.

    For example, I maintain a group blog. I let ANYONE publish almost anything they want on that blog. Sure, I edit their first post, but it’s pretty much whatever they want to say. Well, it gets higher authority than my personal blog, but how does that make sense? My personal blog gets more traffic and has more accountability than the group blog. Moreover, it’s over four years old! 2k is a great blog, but it’s a baby, just months old.

    Technorati has their heads up their asses.

  8. Only a small percentage of bloggers are savvy enough to exclude robot spidering, so that’s not likely a major contributing factor. So”¦ do the privacy settings of LJ have any effect on how their blogs are counted?

  9. Those blogs listed as being active and pointing at may be located elsewhere and not at But on the other hand, that 496k figure doesn’t include those blogs at marked as private or not searchable.

  10. Rich has some very good points — without context, it’s hard to know what value an authority score may have. I have misgivings about the use of “authority” as well. The word has implications that are far beyond what an authoritative score may actually be.

    You want to give or imply authority for a blog that posts a Crazy Frog video and 600 000 other bloggers link there? Authority of/for what?

    Also, how many times have you found a link to follow to a blog that everyone else is linking to, only to find that your target blog actually just paraphrased another blog a bit and then sends you a link to the ACTUAL source of the information people are seeking.

    Let’s not even think about the politics of this when Site A gets a high authority score for their POV of a story and Site B gets nothing for its POV on the same story. People will start arguing because Site A is known to be politically leaning one way while Site B is the opposite, so why should Site A be the authority.

    Again, the use of “authority” will give credence to some that don’t deserve it.

    Maybe it should simply be a “freshness” score instead.

    Interesting idea, nonetheless, and obviously fodder for much discussion.

  11. matt-

    I addition to only counting links from the last six months, we try and filter out template links, as they aren’t created by the author of the blog. We’re not perfect at doing this, but we’re working on it.


    Why do you say you’re not counted? I see your latest posts in our index: . Email me if you still have questions.


    The privacy settings *do* have an effect on how they’re counted, because blogs set to “private” cannot be seen by our spider and therefore cannot be counted.

  12. Only a small percentage of bloggers are savvy enough to exclude robot spidering, so that’s not likely a major contributing factor.

    Really? The commenter may want to visit the forums and see how many of the poster’s blogs are set to not be spidered. Running at least 30%. Getting tired of “Can we have a link to your blog please?” from all of the hidden, non linked to blogs over there.

    It’s a checkbox during signup on the WordPress Multiuser platform. It’s very easy to setup and a lot of folks are doing it.

  13. After posting my comments about Technorati’s “Authority” rankings, I noticed that Andy Skelton has released a WordPress plugin to track blog stats using WordPress’s internal metrics system. (See Automattic Stats for self-hosted WordPress). And I’m torn between merely wowed or full-on floored.

    With this tasty little plugin, WordPress could actually be poised to offer much greater and better performance and ranking data than Technorati. Not right away, of course, but over time, and with a robust API that other blog platforms can use so that it’s not just tracking the WordPress ghetto. (And what a fine ghetto it is!)

    With true blog integration things like the Conversation Index could now be tracked (that is, the ratio of comments to posts), links to post content can count as more “authoritative” than links to the blog’s root, conversion ratios can count toward a blog’s stickiness factor “” and therefore authoritativeness “” and search engine visibility (number of entry hits from search engines) could also be factored in.

    I don’t know if the WordPress team is thinking this way, but if they are, it could revolutionize blog metrics not just for individual blog owners addicted to their performance stats, but the whole blog tracking industry.

    The only thing missing from the Automattic tracker, of course, is feed subscriber stats a la FeedBurner. But surely that could be handled if a blog owner has an FB URL.

    Interesting times.



  14. Oh, one other thing.

    I’ve noticed, it seems that sites publishing on multi-blog hosts like TypePad, BlogSpot, WordPress, Xanga, and etc., get a higher ranking in many of the metrics tools because they’re not always sensitive to subdomains. So benefits from the juice that itself gets.

    I can’t say for certain that this juice-effect appears in Technorati, but it clearly does with trackers like Alexa (which appears to be totally blind to subdomains). And some trackers also cannot handle paths appended to domains so that gets the additional juice from the domain ranking when, in fact, the blog may be brand new and relatively unknown.

    I do know that with Technorati, it does get confused about the difference between sites that appear at two domains, so that and (hosted at the former URL) wind up with two separate sets of reports (this may be unavoidable because how would Technorati know that the two URLs are the same unless you configured it in your profile).

    Just some random pointless thoughts to add to the conversation.