Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Blogging 101: Ten Technorati Tips

Recently bloggers have asked me questions about how to do various things on their blogs so I'm answering these questions in a series of posts over the coming month or two. If you're new to blogging or to reading blogs and wonder how some of these things work, I hope this is enlightening, read it and pass it on. If you're an old pro-blogger with years of experience, sit back and feel superior in your knowledge and then leave a comment that might benefit the rest of us newbies in this wonderful thing called blogging.

1. What is Technorati? Technorati is a blog search engine that explores approximately 62.9 million blogs (as of this posting), then sorts and ranks them based on how they link to one another and how popular they are.

2. How does it help my blog? If you are part of Technorati, then people who go there to search for blogs on a particular topic can find your blog, bringing you more traffic.

3. How do I join? It's easy enough, go to this link here, fill out the information and then "claim" your blog. Just follow the steps.

4. What do I do next? Add Technorati tags, also called social bookmarking, to your blog posts. This means manually adding the html to each post and tailoring tags for each post. Go to this page on Technorati and scroll down for various ways to generate the code. Then, once installed, if someone clicks on one of those tags it will take them to Technorati and list, according to most recent activity or "freshness," blogs that use those same tags--another way to draw readers.

5. What kind of tags should I use? Well, that really depends on two things: what you're post is about and what is popular. An example of a "tag cloud," showing popular tag words, can be found on this link here, the larger the word, the more popular it is.

However, just because a tag is popular doesn't mean you should jump on the wagon with the other 8,390,465 blogs that use that tag. For example, "parenting" is a very popular tag, so when you use it you are competing with an enormous number of blogs. "Motherhood" is still popular, but not as well used, so it may be a better option, as it means less competition for you but still a lot of search possibilities.

Here is a page at Technorati that lists its top daily searches. Keep an eye on what's popular and then tag accordingly and wisely. I will often tag with "Alaska" and "motherhood" because they're popular but not too popular. Go to this page on Technorati and type in "Alaska" in the search box and see how it works.

When you're ready to post, first go to Technorati and do a search using possible tag words and see which might work better, just make sure that whatever tags you use do apply to your content. There's nothing more annoying for a reader than to waste time searching for something that's not there.

Finally, be careful. As my friend Lori at Fun Play Dates found out, tagging a post with "fun playdates" may bring up video blogs you don't want to be associated with.

6. How does Technorati know when I've updated my blog? If you use blog services like Blogger, Moveable Type, Typepad or Wordpress then you are set up automatically. Your blog "pings," or notifies Technorati every time you publish if you allow it to do so. In Blogger this is done by going to your "Settings" page and selecting "yes" under "notify weblogs."

If you aren't using one of these services you may have to ping Technorati manually every time you post, which is also easy to do. If you have questions go to this page on Technorati and it will walk you through the process.

7. What are Technorati favorites? Once you have an account with Technorati you can pick blogs to be added to your personal favorites list. There are two ways Technorati ranks blogs, first by the number of incoming links and second by how many times the blogs are "favorited." Here's the list of 100 Most Favorited Blogs.

If you want to facilitate your readers marking your blog as one of their favorites go to this page on Technorati for the code to paste in your template, making a button on your blog for your readers to click if they want to "fave" you.

If you want to see if you're listed as a favorite you can go to your blog's main info page on Technorati, once you've joined, and near the top of your info page are two tabs, one marked "Favorited By." Clicking on that tab will show you who has favorited you. As an example you can see who has favorited me by clicking here.

8. How can I find out my Technorati ranking? Go to the Technorati home page and type your URL in the search field and click "search." Technorati will give you a ranking compared to 62.9 million of your closest blogging friends. You will see how many blogs link to you and the number of links they give. Give it a try before going on to questions nine and ten which constitute the Big Secret.

9. Why does this matter? Well, I'm not sure it does, my blog doesn't get as much traffic from Technorati as it does from Google, but the theory is the higher your ranking, the greater your visibility, and if you're trying to build your blog, every little bit can help.

10. How can I improve my Technorati ranking? I get this question the most and I love answering it because it's so simple. Remember I said your ranking is based on linkage? Technorati records every link to and from its blogs and updates the number regularly. The more blogs linking to your blog, the higher your ranking.

This means you need to join blogrolls such as Christian Bloggers, Blogging Chicks, Crazy Hip Blog Mamas, etc. whatever fits your blog and niche. You need to be commenting on other blogs because every time you do your name becomes a link back to your URL. You need to be spending as much time as possible leaving your little bloggy footprints in the blogosphere for Technorati to find.

But it also means you need to have great content, writing posts that are worthy of being linked to, and focusing on providing information that others will want to connect to.

Be patient, it does take time. When I started blogging seriously and looked at my ranking I was around 100,000 but three months later I'm at 2,500. Remember the higher you go the slower the progress because competition gets stiffer and other bloggers are collecting links right along with you.

Does this help? Leave me a comment with more questions, advice that I've missed, or an indication whether this was helpful. If it is I'll offer more Blogging 101 tips next week. If not, it's back to the recipes for me.

Technorati tags:

55 comments:

chelle said...

That has to be one of the best posts I have read on Tehnorati! Things have changed so much over there! I had to go and update some stuff, and now I am going to follow some of your cues and get some more ranking! hehe! Although I have to admit I am quite happy with what I have, I want it to reflect! I am so blog vain!

Thanks so much for taking the time to share this!

strugglingwriter said...

Thanks for the tips. Very clear instructions. I may have to try some of these.

Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) said...

You are awesome! I've often wondered how Technorati worked. You explained it beautifully. Even for some who is technically challenged. Like me!

Hey, regarding the microchip idea you left on my blog. I think you could market it. A marvelous idea!

Marie N. said...

Oh! Everything I wanted to know but was afraid to ask! Thank you.

J said...

Very groovy. I didn't even know what that was, and kinda wondered...

I spend enough time in front of this box already, though, so I'll bow out for now.

Amy W said...

This HELPS SO MUCH, Thanks!!

Brian said...

Are you sure that leaving comments results in link backs? All of my link backs are due to links in the text of posts or (maybe) in blogrolls.

Julie said...

You are a woman of much useful information!

By the way, ever since you switched to Beta, I'm having trouble leaving comments with my old name/account. I just wanted you to know that I'm still reading.

(Julie Q.)

scribbit said...

Brian, as far as I know the links in comments do count. I can think of little else to account for my own numbers, I'm just not that popular :) but if anyone else has info to contradict this, please let us know.

Julie, I gave in and switched to Beta because I was having the same problems you are about commenting. I'm terribly sorry because I like your comments. All I can say is it's inevitable. You're going to have to switch sometime so why not today? Come on, everyone's doing it . . . it'll be fun. :)

Brian said...

I looked through a half dozen of your incoming links and they all seem to be due to being part of large blogrolls. I've only got 5 incoming links, and I've left a lot of comments (here included), so I'm fairly certain that comments don't count. At least not on blogs I leave comments on (I would imagine that when you leave a comment relative to when they ping Technorati might matter). Also none of your outbound links seem to be from comments.

Can you show me an example of a link that came from a comment?

scribbit said...

It's difficult to say, I scrolled through pages of those with links to me and I had a hard time finding someone that I had commented on that wasn't on a blogroll. Almost every person that visits me or that I visit is listed with either Blogging Chicks, Blogger Chicks, Blogher, or Crazy Hip. So hard to tell. I'll keep my eyes open, but you could be right, I've commented on places like Problogger and he's not listed as one of my incoming links that I could find, but I didn't make it through every page.

I ought to ask Technorati.

scribbit said...

Brian, plus I know I've commented on your blog and you on mine but as of right now I'm not listed as one of your incoming links. So it looks as though you're right.

Thanks for bringing this up.

Inkling said...

Thank you for sharing that bit of wisdom! It made so much sense to this "non-technical" blogger. Now, if you would please explain how to learn the html needed to make those great sections at the top of your blog....I really appreciate being able to go back to your recipes, read your stories, and visit the other sections. As my postings grow, I'd like to be able to organize them better. Having a drop down menu would be fabulous. So, anytime you want to share about that, I'm all ears.

Thank you again for taking the time to offer some of your expertise!

mothergoosemouse said...

Great summary! I love Technorati, but I've gotten lazy about adding tags to each of my posts. Plus I need to join Blogging Chicks - not sure how I missed doing that...

Rebecca said...

Wow, that was alot of valuable info. Thanks for sharing....I had no idea what Technorati was about.

Aden Hepburn said...

Great post. This is certianly the best blogging 101 i've ever read and it think really gives newer users an easy to digest article on the basics of Technorati.

Nice work!

MaGreen said...

technoratti kicks my ass. i accept it. but this post... maybe i don't accept it?

Yuva said...

its sure does help.

thanks a ton,

chilihead said...

Hey! Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer are working on something similar to this! Keep your eye out...it's coming January 4.

...my 2 cents said...

Very helpful post, and thanks for sharing. I just have one question: On an old blog of mine, I used to have a Technorati link that (when clicked) showed all the links I have back to my page. I keep searching for this Technorati button, but cannot find it anywhere. I read through your post carefully, not sure if I'm missing it somehow. Also have searched all over Technorati site. I think I might just be overlooking it...

scribbit said...

Are you talking about looking at your Technorati links page? The page where it lists all blogs linking to you? If so, I talk about that in point #8. If not, I'm not sure what you're talking about in terms of "button."

Amy said...

I am amazed at all you know. You are a wealth of knowledge. I am going to share this with my techy hubby and see what we can do to get our name among the ranks ;)

You are awesome!

...my 2 cents said...

Oh, by "button" I meant the little tag/button thing to display on the sidebar of my blog page

MC Milker said...

This is an excellent post! Much more to the point than problogger. Thanks for posting.

scribbit said...

I haven't seen a button like this on any other blogs, maybe if I saw yours it would help, what's the URL?

If you want to link to your ranking page that shows all the blogs that link to you, you could always make it yourself by putting the code in yourself with an "a href" tag around the page's URL and then the text saying "Technorati links" or something like that.

Judy Martin said...

Thanks for the technorati information. Your blog is amazing.
I too would be interested in help in how to create the drop down menu that you have. Also, how does one put the technorati tags on the post itself? Like you do.

Thanks very much also for the advice to join Blogging Chicks. Shall look into that.

scribbit said...

Putting the tags in the post itself is a matter of cutting and pasting. Go to the page I referenced and they'll get you the code you need and you can just copy it, paste it into the bottom of your post and change the tags. I'd show you here but the code won't print as code but as the visible product, which won't help.

As for drop down menus. I'll see what I can do, that's quite a bit more complicated and my husband did it for me (and if you're viewing this in IE 6--gasp!--I've heard there might be a problem with the last drop down list, the one called "Stories" which I need to fix but haven't figured out how or when to do it). So I still have bugs to work out but if you notice on my sidebar it credits my drop down as "designed by CSS Play" which is a link to the place I got it from. You use their code, Andrew tweaked it for me, and paste it into your template.

I'll have to see if I can get more details, but that would get you started.

suki said...

I think I'm content with sticking somewhere in the 8000s and 9000s. ;) Thursday Thirteen helped out quite a bit, but I can only handle so many MEMEs. ;P

Heather said...

I've found three different feeds in Technorati that go to my one blog. Have you found a way to have Technorati pool your feeds into one record so the stats will be combined?

Rashenbo said...

You are right... this is an excellent post. I'm going to update my post and add a link to this! :) Thank you.

nitesh said...

Thanks for such great tips.

jchevais said...

I have got to get into the technorati tags habit...

The Late Bloomer said...

Discovered your site through Jenn's blog, No Place Like It -- your tips are a godsend! These are really going to help me... Thanks a bunch!

I'm the beginner of all beginners, so I've got a HECK of a lot to learn. Here's hoping I'll find the time to do it...

Dana said...

re: commenting and links...it sort of depends. I believe I remember reading that technorati was trying to make its stuff not pick up those links to make things more realistic, but it wasn't 100%. So, for example, when I comment on Rhymes With Right (which is in my blogroll anyway), it will show up as a link back to me. But most comments don't.

also on pinging...there are a few sites that can manage this for you. Ping Goat is one...Blog Flux Pinger is another. I was having trouble with the second. I found this because Blogger suddenly stopped sending pings, or something...anyway I checked the settings but it wasn't registering. You can select whom you wish to ping...huge list (not that any of them ever bring traffic). Recently, that stopped working, though, so I ping technorati and blogrolling manually...which are probably the two most important to make sure you are pinging.

It may actually be working now, though, because suddenly all my posts popped up...I wonder if there was some issue when Blogger switched?

DanMac said...

very helpful, my rank sucks but i hope to be moving up asap

Christi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christi said...

This is a great post. I have struggled with blog rankings, and ever since buying my own domain, things have actually slowed down. I now have www.bloggingmthood.com which is the domain I purchased, and blogginghood.blogspot.com and my traffic has almost dropped completely away. I used to get quite a few visitors per day, which was great. Both of my URL's actually appear in Technorati, but my ranking has also dropped. In the past few days, there have been a few more visitors, but following your advice just may help things pick up again. Keep up the blogging 101 advice, and the recipies too! You obviously have blogging 101 readers!! I'll definitely be back again!

success coach said...

Unfortunate that you were so upset about me reprinting your post - with link back to your site as originator. However I have removed all references to your blog from mine now.

scribbit said...

To clarify, you never mentioned my blog at all, just used the first sentence of the post as a link that no one would be able to recognize as a link.

Also, you took all the content word for word rather than just an opening paragraph or two to quote.

Also, you have ads on your site which means you're trying to make money from my content.

And finally you didn't ask permission. Not everyone has to, but when you take the whole post and use it without linking properly or mentioning the original owner it looks like plaigarism and simply asking permission would have simplified the whole process.

Links I love, taking content without proper attribution in an attempt to make money on your own blog I do not.

scribbit said...

Also, one thing I've meant to add to this post is that I found that Technorati only holds your links for six months. After a link has been with you for six months it drops off your record. It's T's way of making sure only the current blogs are making it to the top.

What this means is . . .

If you're a new blog, such as I am, and haven't been with T six months yet, you're building links. Once you reach six months you're then also losing links--probably nearly as fast as you're building them.

So for new blogs that first six months is critical, whatever links you build are with you and once you hit that six month mark it will substantially harder to continue to rise in the rankings because you'll be losing links as well as gaining them. After six months you'll be maintaining more than building unless your blog is really growing.

So for me this mean that in two weeks I'll hit my six month mark and will start losing. I'm trying to make it to the 1000 ranking before then because after that I'll start losing links and it will be harder to gain.

I'm rambling but does this make sense?

Gunfighter said...

Many thanks, Scribbit!

Appreciate the tutorial, as I am essentially techno-blind.

Guns, I know. Writing, I can do. Cooking, no worries... I can even make rosaries, but, program the VCR? Well... thats one of those things that my wife can do.

Again, many thanks.

Little Miss Moi said...

I signed up to technorati when I started my blog, and it still says that no blogs link to mine. And I know there are a few that do. On the other hand, my crappy blog that i never look at or update has a higher ranking, because technorati HAS picked up the blogs that link back to that one.

I think I did something wrong when I claimed the blog in the first place, but I've even gone back, cancelled my claim, reclaimed it and it STILL says no blogs link to it... bleh.

Stine said...

Great post! I still don't quite get the tag thing, but I'm sure I will, once I try my hand at it...

crossn81 said...

Thanks for the great information. I love your overall site layout and am just beginning to use technorati.

pooj said...

This is probably the best article I have read so far about technorati and rankings. Good stuff

grace said...

This should be compiled as "Idiots Guide to Blogging". Great job!! Thanks for the info. I am new to technorati and groping in the dark. Now I understand better.

Karen (Karooch) said...

Thanks so much for making the whole Technorati thing so clear and easy to understand. Yours is the best post I've read about the subject.

Mer said...

Thanks so much for this informative post! I found you through BloggingBasics 101 via the LPMBlog.

And I'm so glad I did! :0)

Mer said...

Okay, now that I've signed up, I'm confused about something. Is it possible that Technorati is missing a link that someone else included in their blog?

I'm sure one link doesn't seem like a big deal, but when your authority is 4 (can you say, "just starting out") it feels discouraging to have seen a post where I've been linked and then not have it count. Do the links have to be of a certain type?

I can find the blog that posted the link to mine in Technorati search, so it isn't like they've never heard of this site. Any help you could provide on this topic would be very helpful. Thanks!

Scribbit said...

Mer, that happens to me occasionally too and since I wrote this post Technorati changed their magic formulas to not include blogrolls in their links. I've rather given up on them lately as my ranking was 700 and plummeted since March.

Making Money ala McMunny said...

thanx dude!!!

really nice post.. now i understand technorati better.. :)

Eerik said...

Good tips!

Eerik
www.xptricks.net

Jane @ Kidzarama said...

I just checked my "authority" and it's gone up by 1 (from 23 to 24).
Big deal, huh?

Here's the weird thing: Kidzarama was ranked #429,461 with 23, and is now ranked at #281,182 with 24!

It's especially weird since when it was at 21, it was ranked at #469,745.

Something's definitely screwy over there...

virgintech said...

thanx for sharing this piece of info...I hope if u can throw more light on The tagging part, coz im sure thats the most tricky one and the most important ..!!!

Yellow-candy said...

Really useful post, it finally inspired me enough to open technorati.com and signup for an account there, although i am a little unfortunate to not to be able to claim my blog there, i created an account, but i dont know there is some error and i am not able to claim my blog, but i hope i will be able to do that later.