Technorati is the internet's biggest search engine for blogs, and their ranking system is also used by many to define the popularity of blogs. In the most recent times, they've taken some criticism, especially for the way their Most Popular Blogs measured by amount of users that have favourited it works, and how easy it is to manipulate this list, even for small blogs.
In the past few days, they have published some changes to their setup, and although none of them are directly related to this list, there is reason to speculate that Technorati might sometime soon make some changes to the way they rank blogs.
Previously all blogs were listed with the amount of registered inbound links, as well as their total traffic rank. With these new changes that have been made, each blog is now only listed with an "Authority" value, and to see the traffic rank for a specific blog you now need to go to the specific page where the inbound links are list (see the details for Bloggst
The obvious question that arises is what determines a blog's authority? As confirmed by the official announcement in the Technorati Blog
, this is simply a new name for the previously listed number of amount of blogs that have linked to the blog in question within the past six months. In other words, the only thing that has actually changed here is the terminology.
What is more interesting however, is that people are reporting that the guys over at Technorati have made changes to their code, as several plugins and script aren't working properly anymore. This has spawned speculation on whether they will try to further improve their system by adding more complicated parameters to their algorithm that defines the authority of a blog. If they do, it is reasonable to believe that they will go down the similar route as Google did with their PageRank system (read the article Google PageRank Explained
if you're not sure what I'm talking about) where links from blogs with higher authority will count more than those with a lower score. This is of course just pure speculation at the moment, but it will be interesting to see what Technorati are willing to do in order to maintain their stronghold as the most popular source for blog rankings.
While they were at, they also made some other changes to the interface as well. As you can see by the screenshot above, the profile page for each individual blog got a severe makeover. It now shows the author(s) more prominently, as well as the latest people who favourited the blog (who are now dubbed "fans") and the most relevant tags and latest post in a much sleeker format.
The user profiles got a similar makeover as well, and it now shows all the users' claimed blogs, as well as the number of fans these blogs have. This goes to show that they seem to be putting more emphasis on fans/favourites, and it seems to be a clear response to all the recent criticism.
All in all, a nice change from Technorati, albeit quite useless in the sense that they didn't make any actualy changes apart from the cosmetic touches. I do believe that this is just the start of a host of changes that will be coming from Technorati in the future however, and like I mentioned before, it will be interesting to see what they are able to come up with.