I had the pleasure to talk to Ryan King of Technorati at Tag Camp this weekend and our conversation included a couple of things I thought I’d share with readers here.
- Spam Blogs I saw Alex personally zapping splogs by hand from Technorati search results while we were talking! Apparently they have a variety of algorithms to do this automatically as well, but it was nice to see him care enough to clean things up when he had a minute. He also told me about having conversations with some of the big search engines about how to deal with this problem. So contrary to Dave Winer’s bizarre statement in conversation this weekend that RSS feeds for search were worthless because of the spam – I have faith that the problem is being mitigated as we speak. One way or the other, the last thing I’m going to do is give up on search-to-RSS! It’s absolutely invaluable, even if I have to take some extra time to construct less spammy queries. Unfortunately Winer was just one of several older men who were so full of themselves they had a hard time communicating with anyone around them. They didn’t contribute much either. To step back from that, I found several people who agreed with me that Pub Sub results are amongst the most filled with spam.
- Indexing I’ve been conversing with several people who are having trouble getting their Typepad sites indexed by Technorati, and thus are not seeing their tags show up in tag searches there. Alex showed me the header tag that could be changed to reflect the Feedburner RSS feeds people are using. I’ll work on that and hopefully the problem will be solved.
- Tagging Turns out that when they say they are indexing everything with rel=”tag” in the link code, they mean it. I asked what sorts of things this made possible and Kevin showed me how instead of just putting his Technorati Tags at the end of blog posts, he sometimes adds the rel=”tag” after the a href=”” in links mid-post. For example, when he linked to a definition in Wikipedia he made that link a tag as well. Try it out, I’m going to with this post.
- Satire A side project Kevin is doing is Supr.c.ilio.us and the Supr.c.ilio.us blog. Mea Culpa: Kevin is collaborating on these projects with Eran Globen. It seems to be all about mocking the most absurd tendencies of the Web2.0 inner circle and related hype. It’s pretty funny, sometimes. If you’re looking for stuff like that, check it out.
- Vertical Search If you go to Technorati proper (not tag search) you’ll see that they are not offering vertical search, or search within a subject. The categories don’t seem very differentiated and the results appear limited, but it looks like a good idea and one I’m sure they will improve. I used it just a minute ago to search for blog posts about Looksmart’s product Furl without getting results filled with random blogs that happen to use Furl for archiving. I liked that I could search inside blogs about the Web, about the Internet and about Technology (?). Unfortunately, I didn’t get many results. So we’ll see. It does seem like a helpful step towards improving blog search results. And that’s important.
So that’s one conversation I had at Tag Camp, I’ll be discussing more over the next few days. For now I have to finish up here in S.F. and get back home.