Technorati Deletes Index, Hopes Customers Won’t Notice

Just two weeks ago Technorati was praised left and right for “returning to their roots”: reinstating charts and the authority filter in search. The most telling title: Technorati Fights Off Irrelevance With Return of Charts.

Today they are back. To irrelevance. smile_sad

When I first noticed I could not find posts older than 6 months, I had doubts if I tested enough, and even if I did, was the issue system-wide, and “by design” or just a glitch. Then I got confirmation from Technorati’s Ian Kallen:

We’re in the midst of some economization, performance fixes and retooling that have required taking some data offline. The data is not lost but our priorities are to prefer keeping recent data online. Most people don’t notice :) We’ll probably be bringing that data back online but I don’t have an ETA yet.

First of all, thank you, Ian, for responding so fast. Second, it’s a sad post comment: you just condemned Technorati to irrelevance. Your new CEO says:

The core of everything we do is in blog search – without question, we must do that very, very well

Hm… and the first step to providing quality search is to take the index offline… 6 months is not “remote past”, significant events were reported / analyzed by blogs, often better than mainstream media, and now they are nowhere to be found! Here’s the result of a search I performed for background to my next story: Technorati (0 results) and Google (83 results). I can’t use Technorati if it does not remember “yesterday”… and you don’t even have an ETA on restoring the index.

But the worst part isn’t the poor performance It’s the attitude: silently take it offline, hoping “most people don’t notice“. Yuck. In the age of transparency. I’m afraid Dennis Howlett is right:

@Ian: “We’re in the midst of some economization, performance fixes and retooling” – in other words – we’re totally messed up and are trying to figure out what to do next. That would be closer to the truth don’t you think?

Update: Any hopes of users not noticing are up in smoke: it’s on TechCrunch, TechMeme and a bunch of blogs including hyku | blog, TeleRead, Susan Mernit’s Blog, Deep Jive Interests, Data Mining, WinExtra, Kevin Burton’s NEW FeedBlog, and The Last Podcast.


Technorati is Toast: Drops Older Posts from Index

TechnoratiJPG Technorati’s index seems to be rather forgetful: it does not find blog posts older than six months. Frankly, I don’t know if it’s a new “feature”, or it’s always been like this, and I’m just the last person to notice it.smile_omg

The only time-limit I’m aware of is calculating Authority, which is based on the revolving 6-month link-counts, but I haven’t found any reference in Technorati’s FAQ to the “shelf-life” of posts in their main index. I’ve only done limited testing, but if indeed this is the case, then Technorati is toast. There’s a lot of value in old posts, and the index that finds them is not Technorati, but Google.