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Technorati Juice

This post has been submitted by Croak from The Bavarian Falcon.

Technorati is getting a lot of attention these days, good and bad. But as a portal into the blogosphere, it is fairly prominent, and more and more readers are coming to rely on it, especially for its tag search and content search.

As a problogger, you should be ready to leverage what Technorati can do for you.

The very first thing you should do is create a Technorati account. If you’re problogging, it might be a good idea to think about what name you would like displayed (your own name, the name of your blog, your pseudonym, etc.). What you decide depends on the subject matter of your blog, but it is important, as it’s one of the three ‘linked’ results that show on a Technorati search, and it takes searchers to your Technorati profile page.

Spend a minute or two filling in your profile (or make plans to come back to it), but don’t upload your portrait yet (see below).

Once you’ve created an account, you can ‘claim your blog’. It’s a relatively simple process. You enter your blog details (name, URL), and depending on your blogging platform, you may be done, or you may need to paste a little javascript line into your blog template for ownership verification.

Technorati will may crawl your blog if you’ve claimed it or not (if it’s been pinged), but with a claim comes the ability to add details to the search results, and perhaps most important, it allows you to add up to 20 ‘static’ tags to your blog, for use with Technorati’s ‘Blog Finder’ service (which lets you search blogs based on those 20 static tags). You don’t need to use all 20 tags, and you can always edit/tune them later, as well as the blog description.

Technorati Blog Configuration Page

TAG, YOU’RE IT!

When Technorati crawls your blog, it is looking for tags. Your best bet for a successful Technorati crawl is to use the tagging format that Technorait prefers:

* a href=”http://technorati.com/tag/[tagname]” mce_href=”http://technorati.com/tag/[tagname]” rel=”tag”[tagname]

Technorati doesn’t care if you link to them or not, you can also link to any URL that ends in the tag name, like:

* a href=http://www.problogger.net/tag/chitika” rel=”tag”>Chitika< -don't try to navigate here, it's an example, not a real page on Problogger

There are countless blog plugins and tools for automating the tagging process when you create posts, and Technorati is smart enough to use many pre-existing formats (WordPress ‘Categories’ for example).

But whatever method you use, you should be serious about tagging your posts. Without the tags, Technorati is ineffective. Obviously it’s easier to tag as you go, but it’s worth the time and tedium to go through your archives and tag them as well (more on that later).

Another benefit of tagging (and displaying those tags) is that readers who bookmark you to del.icio.us can see what tags you’re using, and will often copy them.

Use relevant tags, and if possible, keep them to one word each. Don’t go tag crazy and add a tag for every word in your post.

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING

Getting back to the portrait: You should create an attractive/catchy 100×100 (or thereabouts, but keep it square) logo to use on Technorati. Technorati will reduce images down to a 60×60 version for your profile page, and a 40×40 version to use elsewhere, but the higher quality 100×100 original (or larger if you’d like) is nice to have for other uses

A good logo is a worthwhile time and/or money investment. Besides using it for Technorati, you can also send it to Adsense for the “advertise on this site” link and site search results page banner, and it can be reduced down to an 8×8 favicon as well, though doing that requires some planning, what looks good at 100×100 is could be a pixel blur at 8×8.

- If you have the logo professionally done, be sure to ask for a .png file as well, rather than just a .jpg or .gif. This gives the ability to edit layers in the image later, and it makes it easier to create a modified version for shrinkage, etc.

Posting as an authority and getting a fair amount of Technorati tag listings on a particular subject is always very good. But getting those listings and making them instantly visible with a spiffy logo is even better.

When doing a tag search, most readers scan the tag “headline” (another reason you should write good post titles) then briefly touch on the contents if the headline seems to fit what they’re looking for. The problem is, Technoratiís content snippets don’t contain a lot of info, so the headline has to do most of the work for you.

Adding a logo, (especially when several of yours show up on a tag search) lends a lot of “weight” to the decision to click on your link in Technorati, and takes some of the burden off of your headline. If it’s a decently done logo, it also adds an air of professionalism to your blog.

Portraits (such as your handsome/pretty face) don’t seem to be as effective; people tend to screen out faces, especially when they’re in the 40×40 format. Much of that depends on the type of blog you’re running; a product blog doesn’t benefit much from portraits on Technorati, but a commentary or social blog could.

Do a Technorati Tags or Blog Finder search on “BMW” for an example, you’ll see that even though I’m not at the top of the list, my logo tends to make you want to do the clicky thing.

Notice how the icons stand out in the search results

Having a logo is also important for one other thing. Technorati rotates “Featured Bloggers” on the main page, and without a logo/portrait, you will not be included in this rotation. It’s a nice little bump to traffic (and ego) when you make the cut, though short-lived.

They like me, they really really like me!

HELPING TECHNORATI HELP YOU

For new Technorati users, (or those that just went through their archives and tagged everything), you should have the main page contain as many posts as possible (until the first Technorati crawl), so that all the relevant tags from the archives are found . (Technorati doesn’t seem to crawl archives, just the main page and posts that are pinged as recent).

Depending on your blogging software and where you placed your tags, you may need to expand your posts (remove ‘more’ tags, get rid of the ‘bump’.) so that Technorati can find them.

-There’s always the option of using ‘invisible’ tags, by hiding them in the meta keyword data, but that technique is frowned on by Google.

Once you’ve verified that your tags are live on Technorati (this could take a few hours), you can revert back to a smaller main page and redo your bumps.

It’s not really cheating, it’s just making sure your content gets found and indexed. The downside to this is that Technorati will see all those posts as new entries, and date-stamp them accordingly, so even though you wrote a post two years ago, Technorati will mark it as recent. The good news is, Technorati remembers URLs, so posts that are already indexed by Technorati won’t be repeated.

The main page expansion method is also a good way to get your tags listed on Technorati if it’s had a crawler hiccup (there are cases where Technorati stops crawling a site for some reason, usually because of excessive XHTML errors. When it starts crawling again, it will only look at your main page).

With a little effort, Technorati can be a valuable asset to the professional blogger, so there’s no excuse why you shouldn’t do as much as possible to maximize the services offered.

Get tagging!

Croak runs The Bavarian Falcon, a niche blog dealing with most things BMW that has been growing nicely the past few months thanks to tips from people like Darren Rowse. He has plans for expanding into other subjects with other blogs in the future.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. karli says:

    Fantastic tip! Have begun tagging up already. Will do the logo thingy this evening and then get back here and let you know the results! Thanks D

    Kx

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks, Darren!

    After going through Technorati, I am still confused over what determines someone’s authority – but the logo tip is excellent. Also, I did not realize that Technorati doesn’t go through the archives unless they are on the main page.

  3. Hey, great tips. My main problem right now is that Technorati hasn’t indexed my site in over 40 days. I post regularly, and use WordPress, so they should get pinged automatically. I’ve even tried pinging them manually. They used to come by frequently, so I’m not sure what’s changed. I’ve e-mailed tech support about this, but they haven’t replied, and the problem hasn’t been resolved. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to fix this? Thanks!

  4. Louis says:

    I have a question not directly related to Technorati, but on blog promotion, do you think, it is a good idea to put your portrait on your blog , like Darren does?

  5. Rich Owings says:

    Great post. I have a question though. If I do a post with 20 keywords, should I tag them all? I’m using TypePad so I guess I will have to tag manually. Seems quite labor intensive.

  6. Peter says:

    Great idea! I started tagging yesterday and have already noticed a bump in traffic. Will start with the archives and adding a technorati logo.

    Problogger is great!

    -http://americanmoderateparty.blogspot.com

  7. Joseph Nilo says:

    Great and useful post! Ever since registering with Technorati, I consistently get many hits per week from their site.

  8. Kashif says:

    Refreshing. I have started to play with Technorati recently. Here is my profile on it:

    http://www.technorati.com/profile/kashaziz

  9. Technorati doesn’t really accurately reflect the size or popularity of a site, from what I’ve seen.

    fivecentnickel, I also don’t think they’ve indexed my site in a while. Odd…

  10. Croak says:

    Fivecentnickel:

    I had the same problem that lasted 21 days.

    I spent hours trying to clean up my XHTML (mostly errors from Adsense, Chitika, WordPress itself, etc), manually pinging Technorati from their ping page, and of course I sent emails to Technorati support, but I still wasn’t being crawled.

    Finally, I “think” I found the solution. I simply deleted my claim to the blog (in the Account area), waited an hour or so, and then re-claimed it. About an hour after that, Technorati had listed me as recently updated, and had all the tags from my main page. But none of the archives from the missing three weeks that had “rolled off” my front page were there.

    That’s when I hit on the second part of my plan, telling WordPress to make my main page 21 days long, then I manually pinged Technorati again. Not long after that, those “lost” posts were showing up on Technorati, but were listed as being only minutes old (and all were prefixed with “Permalink” as part of the post title, a WordPress artifact). I could live with that, at least my content was indexed and could be found by tag and content searches.

    Having the archives crawled by Technorati is important, because it adds “authority” to any tag searches people make. The more of a particular tag that is found on your blog (one per post, remember), the more authority it gives you, though incoming links are also very important for establishing your authority. Date “freshness” seems to be the least important factor in Technorati’s authority calculations but the most important in the default search results display, which is by date.

  11. hagrin says:

    I thought favicons were 16×16 not 8×8?

  12. Jeremy says:

    Good luck getting any time of response from Technorati. I e-mailed them about an issue in October twice and still no response. I’ve stopped using them.

  13. Bill Peschel says:

    I created two macros for use with techno tags (the a href=”http://technorati.com/tag/[tagname]” part).

    The first consists of three of these in a row. The first two are already filled in with my name and the name of my site (“Bill Peschel” “Planetpeschel”). The third is left blank for coding the subject of the post.

    The second consists of a single blank tag in case any more subjects qualify.

    Second tip: If you’re familiar with instapundit, you’ll know that his audience is large and he likes to link to other bloggers. What I didn’t realize is that he reads technorati. He picked up my post about an article that had appeared recently on Salon, causing a sharp spike in my traffic. Posting about a recent event quickly and tagging it properly will increase the chance it’ll get picked up elsewhere.

  14. Tom says:

    Louis: depends how you write, these posts are obviously from darren but if your just talking about Tea a Teabag might be better suited.

    Darren remember , instead of :)

  15. Ray says:

    guys remember Darren didn’t write this post,Croak did (read the first line).

    I think Technorati has serious problems with indexing some blogs. Take ProBlogger for instance, it hasn’t been indexed by Technorati for 196 days it says! I talked to Darren about this a few weeks ago and he said he was very frustrated by it because he pings them every time he posts. Of course they havn’t ever responded to his emails as their customer service is so bad.

    It’s such a pity, he’s a top 100 blogger in their index (currently ranked 85, although not actually showing up on the top 100 list which is wierd) and they can’t even index his blog right.

  16. Okay, I tried deleting my claim and then re-staking it an hour our so later. But now it’s listed as ‘unclaimable’ and they suggest that I contact tech support. Yeah, that’s worked so well in the past, I’ll just rush right out an e-mail them.

  17. Clark says:

    Well thought out article. Thank you.

  18. Hagrin says:

    Hmm, something wrong with the comment formatting?

  19. Leroy Brown says:

    I recently started using the auto del.icio.us & technorati tagger Blogger hack, and I’ve been showing a bit of traffic from technorati, so it seems to be working at least a bit. Every bit of increase helps, so I’m in.

  20. Modern Guy says:

    I am a huge fan of Technorati. I run a rather small dating advice blog and my audience is a small target in the big “target rich” environment that is the blogosphere. While I get a few hits from your conventional search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.) I get about 50% of all of my search hits from Technorati. The key that I have found is to find a way to easily tag your posts. One awesome program is called Performancing for Firefox. It is an extension for Firefox 1.5+ that allows you to edit your blog right from your browser. It is equipped with a very handy Technorati tagging tool that will automatically generate tags for you if you so choose.

    Very handy, I would recommend.

  21. Seb says:

    Just wanted to find out why I can’t claim my blog with Technorati. I also have sent them about 10 emails in the past month and no response. Does anyone have a suggestion or advice for this matter? I’d really appreciate it. Thanks in advance

  22. Technorati is crawling my main site but for some reason I can’t get it to pick up any post specific tags. Needless to say the site hardly gets any traffic at all from Technorati. Very frustrating.

  23. Technorati is great. Your article was a great introduction as well. I have my tags up now, so we will see what happens!

  24. Jason says:

    Great. I’m about to write about this article on my site, WriteNiche.

    I’m sure it will be extremely helpful to everyone involved.

    Thanks for the heads up about filling out the profile and providing an image. I didn’t know those were a big deal.

    Cheers,

    JP

  25. Leroy Brown says:

    I still need to add a logo. I’ve been tagging my posts since the beginning, but I rarely see traffic from Technorati. Maybe the logo will make the difference.

  26. Johnny says:

    I was looking for an article about tags and this one is awesome. I’ll begin tagging my own blog as soon as possible.
    Thanks a lot…

  27. binoculars says:

    Thanks for the tips. After reading this post, I quickly start tagging my blog already. Very informative and resourceful. Keep up the good work.

  28. Tech says:

    I’m going to use those tags on my Blog, thanks.

  29. Eric Morrell says:

    Great post for promoting your blog! This is an older post but still not out dated. I have recently tagged my blog and am seeing the results already.

Trackbacks

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