Sifry out, layoffs galore at Technorati

It has looked for awhile as though Technorati was having difficulties — and not just technical difficulties but in the executive suite as well, with founder and CEO Dave Sifry writing on his blog earlier this year that the blog-search company was looking for someone to replace him — but now the wheels really appear to have come off. Sifry is leaving the company completely, without a CEO to fill his shoes, and eight people are being laid off.

In his farewall post, Sifry says the company will be run in the interim by a committee of the board (trust me when I say this is rarely a good sign), and that the search for a CEO continues. The Technorati founder says he will continue to be “engaged strategically from the point of view of a director on the board.” According to his post, he will be chairman. As for the layoffs, Sifry says:

“Because we’ll be focusing our efforts more precisely moving forward, it became clear we needed to adjust our expense structure to be more appropriately aligned with our priorities moving forward. So, we had to make the difficult decision to part ways with eight of our staff members.”

I’ll say this much for Dave — he certainly seems to have gotten the hang of the cold-blooded CEO dismissal message. Om notes that one of Technorati’s biggest issues (apart from uptime problems) is that Google is eating the company’s lunch. Tom Foremski of Silicon Valley Watcher has some added perspective on the difficulties of the startup game here.

5 thoughts on “Sifry out, layoffs galore at Technorati

  1. I’m not that surprised about what’s going on over there. Aside from the Google lunch eating, there’s been technical issue after technical issue to the point where I’ve tried not to care about the service, whether I’m being indexed/ranked, etc… I found I was writing rants about the poor service all the time.

    One thing is certain though, the domain is worth a heck of lot of money. So many incoming links to it…

  2. Google may, as you say, be eating Technorati’s lunch, but Google absolutely stinks for finding out who’s linking to your blog–that is, unless you’re a high-ranked blog. Plus, Google put NOFOLLOW tags in the metadata of blogs that didn’t convert their templates to the simple-stupid, non HTML templates in the Google/Blogger merger–thus making those of us who love tinkering with our HTML out of search for about 4-8 weeks….

    Technorati may have its quirks, but Google is hardly the best for blog search. Their excessive automation and lousy customer service make them less than admirable

  3. I agree with Tish…heaven knows Technorati is not perfect, but it sees a lot more of our links than Google Blogs does. In addition, I really don’t understand how Google Blog’s search prioritisation rules actually work…the results seem fairly random at times.

  4. Much ado about not much.

    Eight people laid off is hardly a catastrophe. I work in an ad agency that has seen over a hundred cut from a single office this summer. Perspective appreciated.

    Technorati never had a chance (said with 20/20 hindsight) because there was never that much that differentiated their relevance algorithm from Google’s. Blogs, despite the peculiar moniker, are just dynamic sites that can be crawled by any robot and measured against linkbacks. Google wrote that book.

    The Web 2.0 deadpool swells…

  5. I am going with this”I really don’t understand how Google Blog’s search prioritisation rules actually work…the results seem fairly random at times.” Great point

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