Archive for the 'search engines' Category

Technorati to start hiring bloggers

I agree with Mashable. Blog search engine Technorati has seemed to wander aimlessly for years, making sporadic changes to its site while going through periods of unreliability. I still use it regularly, but now it’s more of a supplement to Google Blog Search (which has plenty of its own usability problems) rather than my go-to source for blog search. Now it makes another sudden move by hiring bloggers:

Technorati is entering into the next phase of our evolution: original content.

Beginning in October, Technorati will feature original content on the site written by bloggers just like you! This is an amazing opportunity to give your writing vast exposure, become known as an expert in your field/s of interest, and to join a vibrant writer community.

Get in on the ground floor by signing up via the Technorati Contact Page.
Select the “New: Technorati Writer Signup” option from the “Message Type” drop-down box.
You will receive information and writing instructions as we get closer to launch date.
We very much look forward to working with you!

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Technorati vs Google Blog Search

For my latest PBS article I had the opportunity to speak to representatives from both Technorati and Google blog search engines in order to piece together the blog search engine wars and the problems that still plague it: Can Technorati Beat Google at Blog Search?

“It doesn’t matter what Internet business you’re in,” Richard Jalichandra, the CEO of blog search engine Technorati told me recently. “You’re either going to have direct or indirect competition with Google and that’s just the way it is…[Google is] not the 800 pound gorilla, it’s the 80,000 pound gorilla.”

But unlike most competitors to Google, Technorati still seems to have a legitimate shot at beating Google in its niche. Though Google’s main search engine has been dominant, its Google Blog Search, launched in 2005, has failed to gain similar market share. And though some traffic analysis sites have reported that Google Blog Search is edging out Technorati in terms of search traffic, they also note that more than half of that traffic stems from links on Google News.

Technorati, still stupid as ever

See the screenshot below of the front page of Technorati? See those blog and news headlines? If you were a rational human being you would think that by clicking on those headlines it’d take you to the blog post or article in question. You’d be wrong. Instead, it takes you to a redundant page within Technorati.

This is a problem the search engine has had for awhile now and yet refuses to change, despite the fact that there is no rational reason for doing so other than racking up pageviews. But the thing is that the decrease in usability does nothing for them in the long run. I know a lot of people within the online media industry, given the fact that I work in it, and nobody I know even bothers to use technorati anymore when doing work for clients. It deserves the pouncing it has taken from google blog search. Speaking of google blog search, it aggregates headlines on its front page now too. And you know what happens when you click on a headline? It takes you to the freaking blog post for which the headline was written.


Goodbye Technorati

Dear Technorati,

You absolutely worthless search engine. The only thing you’re good for these days is the fleeting ego boost one gets when he checks his blog ranking. In terms of actually delivering search results to your users, you’re pretty much useless and I’m done with you.

You have always been known for your constant error messages and website glitches, but most have been able to forgive you for this. But then semi-recently you started offering search results that didn’t actually take you to blog posts when you clicked on them. Instead, the click would bring you to a redundant Technorati page, a cheap ploy for increased pageviews that does nothing but alienate your users. I alerted you this problem awhile ago and I know you read it because your CEO showed up in my comment section. And yet you’ve done nothing to correct this basic usability problem. Could you imagine if Google made us click through redundant pages just to actually get to the website highlighted in its search results? It would be unthinkable, and yet one of the bozos working for you thought it would be a good idea.

You also offer tons of duplicate search results. If I do a simple keyword search there will be 5+ links to essentially the same exact blog post.

And then recently you drove me over the edge. I don’t know what the hell your website is doing, but whatever it is it’s causing my browser to freeze whenever I visit you. I’m writing this after having to close out my browser with ctrl-alt-delete. Do you really want to be a ctrl-alt-delete website? That’s the sign of imminent death if I’ve ever seen one.

As my frustrations grew, I started using Google Blog Search more and more. Now it’s reached the point when I use it for just about any basic search. Its results load quickly, it doesn’t offer redundant duplicate results, and when I click on the results it actually takes me to a freaking blog post. Sure, it does have its problems — it’s indexing way too many splogs, for instance — but I’ll take that over having to ctrl-alt-delete my way out of a website any day. If it were to ever offer ego-boosting blog rankings, you’d be entirely obsolete.

So, as I said, I’m done with you. You’ve manage to alienate one of your loyal users so much that he publicly renounced you. Good job.


Some Thursday links

Here are some media-related links for your amusement:

1. The American Journalism Review wonders how many journalists use Wikipedia as a source, and whether it’s becoming acceptable.

2. Poor people use Yahoo. Educated people use Google.

3. NYT Makes Comma Error Inside Semicolon Article. The irony!!

4. “Sometimes I read old articles from the National Review and I think, where did that spirit of frank, open racism go?

5. The background story on how and why the New York Times published its silly hit piece on John McCain yesterday.

Google must use the force to fend off Microsoft

Princess Leia makes a dire plea for help to Larry Page and Sergey Brin to fight against the evil empire that is Microsoft. Watch her in the video embedded below:

Two wrongs do not make a Google

Like many others, I was perplexed by Microsoft’s offer to buy Yahoo for $44 billion. I’m guessing this is some attempt for Microsoft to try to compete with Google for search engine dominance.

But the thing is that both Yahoo and Microsoft have been trying to chip away at Google’s search engine audience for years without any success. If two wrongs don’t make a right, then certainly two inferior search engines don’t add up to a superior search engine.

Media critic Dan Kennedy talks at length about this subject.

Reading his insightful post, I couldn’t help but count the different Google products that I use daily. Let’s see, I of course use the regular search engine. Then there’s Google News, followed closely by Google Blog Search (I use that slightly less often than Technorati). Then there’s Google Reader and Google Docs. I use all of these products several times a day. Oh! And I almost forgot Gmail, for which I have multiple accounts. Update: I just thought of yet another product I use regularly: Google Talk.

Do I use Yahoo ever? Only when I’m following a link to it from some other source. Same goes for Microsoft and its various services. I think I once had a hotmail account back in the 90s, but it got shut down because of the idiotic 30-day inactivity rule.

If Microsoft really wanted to compete with Google for search, they would start fresh with some new up-and-coming search engine (Wikia maybe?) with fresh ideas. Not some old media company still struggling in its quest for innovation.

Related posts:
1. Google to create its own version of Wikipedia
2. Google will become carbon neutral by the end of 2007

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