Technorati and the blog search wars

Technorati CEO Dave Sifry has a new “state of the blogosphere” report out, although the first part of it reads more like a “state of Technorati” report — which my friend and fellow mesh organizer Mark Evans and some others believe is a bit of plumage-fluffing aimed at catching the eye of a potential suitor such as Yahoogle or MicroNews Corp.

snipshot_d41bgbrev9nf.jpgBe that as it may, it is still interesting to see how fast has been growing: over 9 million unique visitors in March, up 141 per cent in a single quarter, and double-digit growth every month in page views as well. Not bad. It’s no MySpace, but still pretty good for a blog-search engine. But Dave doesn’t just want to be a blog-search engine — he wants to be a media company. Don’t we all, Dave. But I’m not sure a lot of traffic to Technorati’s tagged media pages really counts as being a media company, unless we are really stretching the definition of the term.

It’s obvious that part of Dave’s post is also designed to cement the impression that Technorati is the leader in blog search, a campaign he has also carried into the comments section of Robert Scoble’s blog, on a post the Scobelizer did about whose search is better. I think Dave should win some kind of award for the number of comments he left on Scobey’s blog, most of which (not surprisingly) are aimed at showing the deficiencies of Google’s search — although to give him full credit, he responds to criticisms from bloggers as well.

So is Technorati the leader? The charts on Dave’s post look pretty good, although neither Hitwise nor Quantcast are infallible when it comes to measuring such things. But as Zoli Erdos points out, Technorati’s lead over Google may not be as large as it seems, and there is clearly still room for improvement — for example, Google’s blog search indexes comments as well as posts. And as I have written about previously, Sphere and Icerocket have their strengths (and weaknesses) as well.

In other words, blog search is still very much a horse race.


Allan Stern of CenterNetworks says that Technorati shouldn’t be compared to Google’s blog search at all, but to Google proper, which is a fair point. And Jim Kukral wonders in a post on his blog why Mark Cuban has let IceRocket die. Are you going to just sit there and take that, Mark? 🙂

6 thoughts on “Technorati and the blog search wars

  1. Unless there’s some genuine and sustainable technology advantage that Technorati has relative to, say, Google, I don’t see how they can be anything other than a marginal player in the long term. First mover advantage to build an audience is important in some communities, but you won’t find a more fickle audience than the blogosphere. If it isn’t an order of magnitude better, there’s little point.

  2. I would have a tendency to agree, Paddy. I don’t see what Technorati brings to it that Google couldn’t duplicate, if they wanted to. I guess the only question is whether they want to.

  3. David Sifry has some more interesting comments that will be published in two weeks in Blogger & Podcaster magazine as part of our industry leaders roundtable he participated in. You can get it by subscribing for free at or just email me ( and I’d be happy to send you a copy of the story.

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