Thursday, July 07, 2005

Technorati

Three cheers for Technorati!
The choice of name itself shows intelligence and irony at the same time.
It’s of course paraphrasing the word “Illuminati”, Italian for “the enlightened (plural)”, a term applied by conservatives to anyone that doesn’t read only tabloid newspapers or isn’t a complete redneck. A badge of honour, surely!

But I don’t want to be flippant about it. It might not be “cool” to expand on the technical side of a traffic source that isn’t brand new, but I’m going to anyway.

Technorati.com is a search engine that uses blog posts as its source of search results. As a blogger you don’t even need to sign up (I did but I’m not sure it helps). The key to using Technorati to drive targeted traffic to your blog is two thronged: tagging and pinging.

Technorati formatted tags let the search engine know the keywords that are relevant to the post in which you include them.

The HTML syntax of a technorati tag is:

(a href="http://technorati.com/tag/keyword" rel="tag")keyword(/a)

Of course replace the round brackets with angular ones and “keyword” with the actual keyword. For keyphrases, separate individual words by “+”, e.g. London+Olympics. Create as may tags as you like but try and keep it truly relevant to the subject of the post. Insert the coded tags in the HTML code of your post, anywhere you like.

Next ping your new post to technorati.com (and others), using PingOMatic.com, make sure you’ve ticked the relevant boxes and bookmark the page, so you can easily ping each new post.

Technorati will usually index your post in a matter of hours, so your post will start appearing in its own search results.

What’s more, Technorati tag pages also appear in Google’s main search results. I congratulated a friend for a #3 position under bourbon update only to find a Technorati tag page has now taken that position. The tag page in question only displays my own post on that subject. So, not technically, but effectively, my post is currently #3 under bourbon update [wonder how long that will last?]


Any downsides to the search engine? Well, it does appear to base returned results only on the tags, which leaves it quite open to abuse. But, so far the search results seem pretty relevant, indicating that most taggers are playing nice.

Keywords:
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