If Technorati can beat Google, why can’t Microsoft or Yahoo?

The newly-relaunched Technorati exposes a weakness in Google’s armor. I just tried a bunch of searches. Technorati does “Live” search MUCH MUCH better than Microsoft and even better than Google’s Blog Search.

I predict that, with this update, Technorati will become a quick takeover target. If I were at Microsoft I’d be spending a few corporate hours wining and dining Dave Sifry.

Technorati is so superior to all the other blog search engines now that it isn’t even funny. Why can 45 people at Technorati beat Google yet Microsoft, with its billions of dollars, can’t get any traction?

The answer? Technorati is a small idea. It takes one tiny little niche away from Google. It doesn’t try to compete with the main Google engine.

On Monday I sat next to a developer on Microsoft’s Popfly team. He didn’t like that I called Popfly a “small” idea. I told him that was a term of endearment, not of derision. The most interesting things on the Internet are done by small teams. Not “boil the ocean and try to kill Google” teams.

Microsoft should be cheered that Technorati, a small company of 45 people, can take on Google and can build a successful SEARCH brand and experience that beats Google.

Google, on the other hand, with its billions in revenue and thousands of PhD’s should be ashamed that it isn’t as good as Technorati.

Oh, and didn’t Blinkx go public yesterday? Yeah, and their stock went up! Amazing that two little companies are making businesses in Google’s backyard. If I were at Google I’d worry about that and remember Google’s history. It was, what, eight years ago that Google was the little upstart and companies like Yahoo and AltaVista owned the search space.

Microsoft: why haven’t you changed your search strategy yet? Look at your search on Live.com. Now compare to Technorati. Which one is more “live?” Technorati by a mile. Maybe this is what we mean when we say Microsoft is “dead.”

I bet some people/companies are wishing they acquired Technorati last week. I have a feeling that their valuation just went up about $500 million. At least.

UPDATE: Another example of how Microsoft’s Internet strategy is lacking? Check out the new Pageflakes, TechCrunch just wrote about that. Now compare to anything Microsoft has put out there. In fact, compare to Google’s “iGoogle” page. How does Pageflakes measure up? Smaller is better!

108 thoughts on “If Technorati can beat Google, why can’t Microsoft or Yahoo?

  1. Tried some searches, but I dont see how this an improve ment at all. Google search gives much better results tbh.

  2. Tried some searches, but I dont see how this an improve ment at all. Google search gives much better results tbh.

  3. Scoble said “Technorati is a small idea.”

    Apparently you have forgotten how Technorati works. They don’t crawl the web. It’s blog engines that ping them. Meaning that bloggers INTENTIONALLY provide juice to Technorati.

    Should Technorati be acquired, reasons to block those pings would immediately be justified.

    Technorari core business is at the mercy of major blog engines out there.

  4. Scoble said “Technorati is a small idea.”

    Apparently you have forgotten how Technorati works. They don’t crawl the web. It’s blog engines that ping them. Meaning that bloggers INTENTIONALLY provide juice to Technorati.

    Should Technorati be acquired, reasons to block those pings would immediately be justified.

    Technorari core business is at the mercy of major blog engines out there.

  5. Thats like cheering on tow trucks because it easier to haul a car around than a F150 or a dodge ram. Specialization always beats a Generalist.

    Googles technique is non invasive. (you don’t need to put anything on your page for it to work.) Google searchs for everything. Not just Blogs.

    Really this post should be title. I got bored so I decided to hype a my friend’s employer. Way to go!

  6. Thats like cheering on tow trucks because it easier to haul a car around than a F150 or a dodge ram. Specialization always beats a Generalist.

    Googles technique is non invasive. (you don’t need to put anything on your page for it to work.) Google searchs for everything. Not just Blogs.

    Really this post should be title. I got bored so I decided to hype a my friend’s employer. Way to go!

  7. Robert,

    Half your “authority” is splogs, all of the Technorati “100″ are overcounted due to this issue.

    In the past month, Technorati has missed 4 links (that I know of) that even when contacted were not corrected. I wouldn’t call a search engine that bases itself on links, that can’t count links accurately great. It has the potential to be great, maybe a new CEO will do that, but it’s not great now.

    Putting a Web 2.0 wrapper on a Web 1.0 product badly in need a complete redesign of what matters, the algorithym, does not fix anything.

    BTW, I’ve been meaning to ask do you have options in Technorati and for that matter WordPress/Automatic? A post like this one reminds me to ask.

    As for Microsoft, there are many other blog search options to consider, if they don’t know what they are, my contact info is on my blog. :)

  8. Robert,

    Half your “authority” is splogs, all of the Technorati “100″ are overcounted due to this issue.

    In the past month, Technorati has missed 4 links (that I know of) that even when contacted were not corrected. I wouldn’t call a search engine that bases itself on links, that can’t count links accurately great. It has the potential to be great, maybe a new CEO will do that, but it’s not great now.

    Putting a Web 2.0 wrapper on a Web 1.0 product badly in need a complete redesign of what matters, the algorithym, does not fix anything.

    BTW, I’ve been meaning to ask do you have options in Technorati and for that matter WordPress/Automatic? A post like this one reminds me to ask.

    As for Microsoft, there are many other blog search options to consider, if they don’t know what they are, my contact info is on my blog. :)

  9. The new Technorati looks much worse. I think users will be very confused.

    http://www.technorati.com looks to be a total disaster. I tried one example search – java streaming – in the “posts” section. The first two pages of results are irrelevant; half way down the second page, the results turn into porn hits that go on for another couple of pages.

    s.technorati.com looks like it might possibly be better (in that it’s the same as the old Technorati) except that it won’t even let you access more than one page of search results now! My test search – java streaming – returns 2710 results. However, this turns into java+streaming when clicking through to the second page; there are only 13 results for that search.

    Whichever way you cut it, this is a pretty low-quality update to their systems. Doesn’t look like there was even rudimentary testing done…

    Google blogsearch returns much better results.

  10. The new Technorati looks much worse. I think users will be very confused.

    http://www.technorati.com looks to be a total disaster. I tried one example search – java streaming – in the “posts” section. The first two pages of results are irrelevant; half way down the second page, the results turn into porn hits that go on for another couple of pages.

    s.technorati.com looks like it might possibly be better (in that it’s the same as the old Technorati) except that it won’t even let you access more than one page of search results now! My test search – java streaming – returns 2710 results. However, this turns into java+streaming when clicking through to the second page; there are only 13 results for that search.

    Whichever way you cut it, this is a pretty low-quality update to their systems. Doesn’t look like there was even rudimentary testing done…

    Google blogsearch returns much better results.

  11. Yeah I noticed the spam too. Try doing a search on Technorati for posts about “Technorati”. Nothing but spam. Google and Bloglines are showing (correctly) a bunch of posts about the new revamp.

    MAJOR issue. If Google and Bloglines can work out how to filter the spam blogs, Technorati needs to solve it ASAP.

  12. Yeah I noticed the spam too. Try doing a search on Technorati for posts about “Technorati”. Nothing but spam. Google and Bloglines are showing (correctly) a bunch of posts about the new revamp.

    MAJOR issue. If Google and Bloglines can work out how to filter the spam blogs, Technorati needs to solve it ASAP.

  13. The interface is good, but the functionality is very poor. Results are absolutely brim-filled with spam.

    Of course, we all ego-search on these things – I compared ‘.net garbage collection barry kelly’, and found my own postings in Google Blog Search, but Technorati didn’t find anything even remotely related to .NET.

    I ask you to try out that search for yourself – I can’t see myself bothering with Technorati after my experiment.

  14. The interface is good, but the functionality is very poor. Results are absolutely brim-filled with spam.

    Of course, we all ego-search on these things – I compared ‘.net garbage collection barry kelly’, and found my own postings in Google Blog Search, but Technorati didn’t find anything even remotely related to .NET.

    I ask you to try out that search for yourself – I can’t see myself bothering with Technorati after my experiment.

  15. How do I set the authority filter to stay that way? It appears every time I go to Technorati I have to set my language as English, and the authority filter to A Lot for each search I do.

    And is there any reason why there is no authority filter in the main search on the homepage?

    Believe me I *want* to like Technorati as even Google blog search and Sphere arent the greatest, but im just not swayed at the moment.

  16. How do I set the authority filter to stay that way? It appears every time I go to Technorati I have to set my language as English, and the authority filter to A Lot for each search I do.

    And is there any reason why there is no authority filter in the main search on the homepage?

    Believe me I *want* to like Technorati as even Google blog search and Sphere arent the greatest, but im just not swayed at the moment.

  17. Steve: try turning up the authority filter on your search: http://s.technorati.com/pandora?authority=a7&language=en

    One of the great things about indexing over 71 million blogs is that you get tons of content. Some bloggers, unsurprisingly, are more interesting than others. If you’re only interested in the highly-ranked results, search with lots of authority. If you want to see all the blog posts *as they’re written*, turn off authority filtering.

    Either way, we hope that you’ll find the new streamlined search brings you exactly what you want — much, much faster.

  18. Steve: try turning up the authority filter on your search: http://s.technorati.com/pandora?authority=a7&language=en

    One of the great things about indexing over 71 million blogs is that you get tons of content. Some bloggers, unsurprisingly, are more interesting than others. If you’re only interested in the highly-ranked results, search with lots of authority. If you want to see all the blog posts *as they’re written*, turn off authority filtering.

    Either way, we hope that you’ll find the new streamlined search brings you exactly what you want — much, much faster.

  19. Steve, this may not be the case in Technorati, but isn’t this more or less what Google did in the search engine industry?

    [Goes to read the history books...]

    Cheers,

  20. Steve, this may not be the case in Technorati, but isn’t this more or less what Google did in the search engine industry?

    [Goes to read the history books...]

    Cheers,

  21. I must just be missing something, because even a search for Pandora turned up half relevant results, half junk – Google was 100% relevant articles. This is on the “s” site not “www”.

    other terms:
    Wikipedia
    PopFly (this article shows on page 1 in both engines btw)
    Heroes
    Spaghetti

    None of them generate much useful information on Technorati. I guess I could search for an URL to find 6 vs 2 results, but why? Does anyone do that? I’m no expert on “live” search, but I couldn’t come up with a Technorati search that gave me anything that appeared useful on page 1.

    I guess I’ve gotta disagree with your theory that 45 people came out of nowhere to crush Google/MS/Yahoo and generate $500m in value

  22. I must just be missing something, because even a search for Pandora turned up half relevant results, half junk – Google was 100% relevant articles. This is on the “s” site not “www”.

    other terms:
    Wikipedia
    PopFly (this article shows on page 1 in both engines btw)
    Heroes
    Spaghetti

    None of them generate much useful information on Technorati. I guess I could search for an URL to find 6 vs 2 results, but why? Does anyone do that? I’m no expert on “live” search, but I couldn’t come up with a Technorati search that gave me anything that appeared useful on page 1.

    I guess I’ve gotta disagree with your theory that 45 people came out of nowhere to crush Google/MS/Yahoo and generate $500m in value

  23. Project: for what searches? Have you tried them in the past two hours? The layouts have dramatically changed. Also, have you tried http://s.technorati.com ? That’s the simple version and is closer to Google’s Blog Search simple layout than Technorati has ever been before.

    As to shitty results, have you tried turning up the authority ranking? That typically matches what Google reports to me.

  24. Robert,

    I was reading my feeds and the first post I read by you was the glowing one, and so missed the re-launch of Technorati which you commented on an earlier post. Thus, I put all my comments on standby, as obviously I’ve not had time to test it and see if the problems still exist.

    The new interface is way nicer, very true, and the mini-T is also a nice addition (particularly for mobile devices).

    Cheers,

  25. Robert,

    I was reading my feeds and the first post I read by you was the glowing one, and so missed the re-launch of Technorati which you commented on an earlier post. Thus, I put all my comments on standby, as obviously I’ve not had time to test it and see if the problems still exist.

    The new interface is way nicer, very true, and the mini-T is also a nice addition (particularly for mobile devices).

    Cheers,

  26. Project: for what searches? Have you tried them in the past two hours? The layouts have dramatically changed. Also, have you tried http://s.technorati.com ? That’s the simple version and is closer to Google’s Blog Search simple layout than Technorati has ever been before.

    As to shitty results, have you tried turning up the authority ranking? That typically matches what Google reports to me.

  27. I must be the only person in the world who cant stand Technorati. I find Google Blog Search and Sphere to be better. Technorati returns so many shitty results its unreal. And the UI is cluttered.

    My 2c

  28. I must be the only person in the world who cant stand Technorati. I find Google Blog Search and Sphere to be better. Technorati returns so many shitty results its unreal. And the UI is cluttered.

    My 2c

  29. I get more info on Pandora, for instance. “Scoble” brings back many more results on Technorati than on Google’s Blog Search.

    A search for “http://www.sifry.com/alerts/archives/000501.html” only brings back two results on Google’s blog search right now, while the exact same search on Technorati brings back six results.

  30. I get more info on Pandora, for instance. “Scoble” brings back many more results on Technorati than on Google’s Blog Search.

    A search for “http://www.sifry.com/alerts/archives/000501.html” only brings back two results on Google’s blog search right now, while the exact same search on Technorati brings back six results.

  31. I don’t see it. I tried several searches and Technorati turned up completely unrelated content, while Google Blog Search was quite relevant. I don’t know where MS’s blog search is so I couldn’t compare. What searches did you do that were better?

    Some Examples:
    Half Life 2
    Facebook
    Angelina Jolie
    Quantum Mechanics

    They all suck on Technorati

  32. I don’t see it. I tried several searches and Technorati turned up completely unrelated content, while Google Blog Search was quite relevant. I don’t know where MS’s blog search is so I couldn’t compare. What searches did you do that were better?

    Some Examples:
    Half Life 2
    Facebook
    Angelina Jolie
    Quantum Mechanics

    They all suck on Technorati

  33. Mike: the new Technorati has been up for just a little over an hour. Do these problems still exist?

    On the posts tonight that I’ve tested Technorati is a lot faster and more complete than Google’s.

  34. Mike: the new Technorati has been up for just a little over an hour. Do these problems still exist?

    On the posts tonight that I’ve tested Technorati is a lot faster and more complete than Google’s.

  35. YMMV, but I’ve seen all sorts of problems in Technorati, examples:

    - Feeds with accented characters not being indexed.
    - Feeds just not being indexed, even though they passed all validation tools.
    - Support? Non-responsive. Not saying Google’s is better or worst, as I’ve not had to use it, they’ve always indexed things just fine. So have Icerocket.
    - Easy to trick in order to have the same post over and over again in the first few results on a tag search.
    - Search for a term, get results in which the first entry was made 9 days ago. Click ‘View all’ and see posts from a few hours ago.
    - Periods during which the service was ‘taking a break’.
    - A whole 13 hours worth of posts ‘lost’.

    Not saying Technorati is not an obvious reference in blog searches, and that the live search isn’t better than Google’s, but I wouldn’t overvalue it either.

  36. YMMV, but I’ve seen all sorts of problems in Technorati, examples:

    - Feeds with accented characters not being indexed.
    - Feeds just not being indexed, even though they passed all validation tools.
    - Support? Non-responsive. Not saying Google’s is better or worst, as I’ve not had to use it, they’ve always indexed things just fine. So have Icerocket.
    - Easy to trick in order to have the same post over and over again in the first few results on a tag search.
    - Search for a term, get results in which the first entry was made 9 days ago. Click ‘View all’ and see posts from a few hours ago.
    - Periods during which the service was ‘taking a break’.
    - A whole 13 hours worth of posts ‘lost’.

    Not saying Technorati is not an obvious reference in blog searches, and that the live search isn’t better than Google’s, but I wouldn’t overvalue it either.

  37. They seem to have removed the one feature I sed most :(, the option to filter by none/some/lots of authority.
    This allowed me to quickly filter out all the splogs.

  38. They seem to have removed the one feature I sed most :(, the option to filter by none/some/lots of authority.
    This allowed me to quickly filter out all the splogs.

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