November 27, 2002

Technorati

I wanted to let you know about a new project I've been working on called Technorati.  Essentially, it is a site that creates a set of web services that I've always wanted for myself - services layered on top of the wealth of current search functionality and tools available for bloggers.

There are 4 core services that Technorati provides:

1) Link Cosmos: This is a service that lets you see what blogs are linking to a Blog (or any arbitrary URL, btw).  I always wanted this because I wanted something to help me get a feeling for how interesting a blog was - if lots of people are linking somewhere, it must be interesting, right?  And If lots of people I know and respect are linking to someone or something, then it must be something worth taking seriously.

So, with Link Cosmos, you can check any URL you like - type it into the search box, and you'll get an instant view of the bloggers who are linking to the site.  This is what makes it significantly different from Blogback, for example.

What I found out when I started populating my link database (it has over 1 Million links in it right now, and it's only been going for about a week) is that I would see an interesting URL or blog, and then recursively follow the Cosmos for the URL - things turned into a '6 degrees of separation' kind of fascination as well.

You can try out the Technorati Cosmos links at one of two places: Either the Cosmos link page, or at the Technorati Top 100, a listing of the top 100 blogs based on the number of other blogs who link to them.

If you find an interesting new blog in the top 100 - simply click on the (Cosmos)  link and you can see who is linking to you.  Click on their cosmos, and see who is linking to them.

This brings me to the other interesting thing about the Link Cosmos - you can see links to your blog that don't even show up in referer logs.  There are a lot of blogs out there that aren't frequented very often, and you won't see them in a site referer log unless someone actually clicked on the link to your blog.  It's a neat way to find new and interesting sites that haven't been "discovered" yet.

2) Google Rank

I have always been interested in how Google works, and also how I rate in relation to certain search terms, so I created Google Rank and Google Juice (explained later).  Google Rank allows you to type in a search term, and it then shows you the top 100 sites on Google for that search term.  The interesting part is that Technorati also goes back day after day and rechecks Google's rankings for that search term, so you can see how Google's rankings change over time.  Here's an example of Google Rank in action, for the ranking of "weblogs", for example.  The numbers next to the rank show how the ! rank has shifted over time.

3) Google Juice

A corollary of Google Rank is Google Juice.  By adding a URL to search for, Google juice gives me the ranking for a site (or set of sites) that I want to track - and Google Juice goes even deeper than Google Rank - if your site is in the top 1000 Google responses, Google Juice will find your site and give you its ranking for that set of search terms.  Here's an example, searching for the URL "www.scripting.com" on the search term "weblogs".  Rock on, Dave!

4) Watchlists

Watchlists are the easy way to keep and track historical information about the sites that you are tracking.  They allow you to quickly see new links to your site or see historical Google ranking information not shown in the standard views.

Watchlists are where the business model behind Technorati comes into play.  By paying $5/year, you can purchase access to the watchlist web service.  You get instant access to the live watchlist information, and you also get a daily email with all of the updates to the sites or Google Rankings that you're tracking.

One of the things that I find interesting is this business model experiment - will people find enough value in the Cosmos, Google Juice, and Google Rank services that they would be willing to pay a nominal amount for automated alerts and advanced features?  And what would be the appropriate price?

I hope that you have a chance to go to the site, give it a run through, and give me your feedback
Posted by dsifry at November 27, 2002 09:52 PM | TrackBack | View blog reactions