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Blogcatalog vs Technorati?

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As most of my readers are no doubt aware, I am a strong supporter of sharing the link love, but I always advocate sharing it in a focused manner, preferably from relevant content or from comments and trackbacks. If you trackback/pingback this blog you receive a reciprocal link between highly relevant content automatically, and not only Google and other major search engines count the links as relevant, but also blogging search engines such as Technorati, though with Technorati it is best to do it on a more recent post.

If you want to share the love from your blog, I compiled an extensive list of "dofollow" and "nofollow" resources covering major platforms such as WordPress (on your own domain), blogger and Drupal. It is also possible on Typepad, and Dawud Miracle and Karen have been discussing ways to present the complicated procedure to remove nofollow on Typepad. Hopefully I will be able to link to a solution soon.

In my review of Blogcatalog recently, I mentioned that one of the key things I would like to see is for the Nofollow link to be removed from the site profiles.

This is how the site profiles used to look when viewed using the Search Status Firefox Plugin which highlights nofollow links on the pages you visit with a pink box.

Blogcatalog Nofollow

That link wasn’t just nofollowed. It was also passing through a redirect script to count the number of clicks the link had received, important for their rating system and to help advertisers to evaluate the value of the listings they purchase. Some redirect scripts can pass on link juice, but a clean link is much better.

Blogcatalog Sharing the Link Love (No Nofollow)

The page now looks like this:-

Blogcatalog No Nofollow

As can be clearly seen, the link no longer has the nofollow extension, and thus passes on juice.

What about the redirect?

<h2>Andy Beard – Niche Marketing</h2>
   <h3><a href="http://andybeard.eu" onclick="return o(‘andy-beard-niche-marketing’);">http://andybeard.eu</a></h3>

You will see here that this is a clean link which uses the onclick parameter to count the number of outbound clicks from the page. From what I can tell from limited testing, pages also load a lot faster with the new linking method.

Not All Links Are The Same

Some would argue that MyBlogLog has provided followable links from the start, and they are certainly to be congratulated for this. They also have a number of useful linking structures that help bring their profiles into prominence.

It is interesting studying the value of links from various services just by doing a quick vanity search on Google for Andy Beard.

The MyblogLog linking structure with the number of links using that term internally really makes them highly relevant.

That doesn’t however help much on relevance for other terms not associated with the name of the blog, or blog owner.

Here is another vanity search, but this time on "Andy Beard – Niche Marketing"

Ok so that link text is being used through to my page profile on Blogcatalog, so it is not really very fair and also is very prominent on Bumpzee for the same reason.

Lets use a term that I use in my description on multiple syndication sites to see which is giving me currently the best relevant link.

"Blog Search Engine Performance"

Blogcatalog is an older domain, but that page with description is much younger than my profule on MyBlogLog.

There are references on Bumpzee for that phrase before MyBlogLog appears.

This isn’t conclusive research, but as of this writing the page that is ranking for Blogcatalog is often based on my old rating within the service – as my registration was quite late, it was fairly well buried on each of the listing pages, often 4 or 5 pages deep.

It takes Google a number of days to recalculate ranking based on links. Thus it is only going to improve.

Blogcatalog Introduces Real Tagging

Please first of all understand that this seems to be the first stage of implementation, but it demonstrates clearly the direction Blogcatalog can take and the speed they are implementing changes.
The removal of nofollow was quite a simple matter, but implementing tagging certainly took a little more work, in just a few short days, on a holiday weekend!

Lets take a little look at Meg’s Blogcatalog profile

Blogcatalog Tagging

Now my geeky readers will no doubt notice that not every site is currently working, and that the tags currently being picked up are Megs categories defined within a feed such as:-

    <category><![CDATA[blogcatalog]]></category>
  <category><![CDATA[mybloglog]]></category>
  <category><![CDATA[Australian Blogs]]></category>
  <category><![CDATA[blogsearch]]></category>
   <category><![CDATA[blogging]]></category>

hat was taken from Meg’s feed (she has actually got 2, one at WP.com, and one on Feedburner – they really should support redirects)

Blogger blogs do things slightly differently. Here is an example of the code in Johns feed at Finding The Money.

<category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="networking" /><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="promotion" />

Those are generated by using labels on the new blogger, thus it would be worthwhile using lots of them, or creating additional links to a tag space that shares link love back with you.

I don’t think it will take long to have this picking up all forms of tagging such as rel="tag" anywhere within a feed item.

That is what they would have to cope with on my blog, where a post might only be in 3 defined categories, but be tagged with 10 or 20 tags.

Blogcatalog Tagspace?

The microformat "rel-tag" definition dictates that the end of the URL you use to link through to the pages that form a "tagspace" should end with the word in question.

The destination of a rel="tag" hyperlink is required to be a tag space (a place that collates or defines tags), where the last segment of the path of the URL is the tag

Blogcatalog now has links such as

http://www.blogcatalog.com/post-tag/blogsearch

As a demonstration they have built a global tag cloud, though this doesn’t yet have a comprehensive data set.

They also have the links to tags as previously highlighted, and the ability to search tags.

Tag Search

This is becoming a little confusing, and I am sure things will become refined over time allowing even more powerful features.

Currently we have a number of search options:-

Blogcatalog Tag Search

  • In the Blog Directory – this searches the blog directory descriptions only – as an example a search for "SEO" currently doesn’t find my blog listing, even though it is highly rated in the SEO category, and I use SEO for a blog defined tag – SEO is even a term found in one of my reader reviews, but that isn’t picked up. Tag and Category are probably terms that shouldn’t be picked up, but review content probably should.
  • In Tags – these allows a search in predefined tags when blog accounts are created. As an example a search for "BlogCatalog" doesn’t come up with any results, because no blog has currently defined that term as one of their core topics. A search for Wordperss in the tags comes up with my blog at the top, because my blog is currently the highest rated blog using that defined tag.
  • In Blog Posts – this searches the content of archived blog posts. It should be noted that there is a lot of stored content with some listings going back over 1 year on a search for the term "Wordpress" – I wonder if data such as categories or tags is also stored (the raw RSS data) – if they have all of it, that is a lot of content that can now be recategorised with tags and who linked to who within the content.

Blogcatalog Search results in posts
Popularity is currently based upon blog rating, I am not sure how relevance is counted, but it would also be possible to introduce other metrics such as linkage and add additional authority based searches or options.

  • In Blog Post Tags – this is the new form of search previously discussed, that will allow bloggers to define what their post is about using the rel-tag microformat already used by Technorati, and their blogging platforms existing category system.

BlogCatalog vs Technorati

As I have already likened Blogcatalog to MyBlogLog, it is now time to take on an even bigger player, Technorati.

Technorati could roll out a networking feature, but their current size means it isn’t something that can be rolled out fast without also introducing a massive support and spam problem. Technorati autodiscovers sites and feeds, often polluting its index, and is a primary target for junk.

Blogcatalog could easily encroach on Technorati’s space, whilst remaining devoid of spam, and already having a social feature built in.

Blogcatalog is only indexing feeds which it is told about and isn’t scraping the blog itself looking for additional blogroll links which aren’t necessarily a good indication of quality, because it can be easily gamed. Authority with Technorati can easily be established by releasing a few themes or widgets, or having a blog as part of a network, as I have discussed in the past.

Blogcatalog is probably lacking in historical data, but that isn’t honestly hard to get. They could always write a simple "Pick Me Up" plugin that can be installed and provides an RSS feed of all previous posts, and I am sure something similar could be possible for all platforms, maybe something like a dynamic, blog content only sitemap.

Fancy charts and tables are fairly easy to add

Technorati Is Ugly in Pink

Technorati Ugly In Pink

Blogs added to Technorati are not added manually – Technorati find them by itself, and only at a later date are they removed from the index if they are found to be "splogs".
Lots of the feeds Technorati is encouraged to collect aren’t unique blog feeds.

With all the poor quality content being added to the index, there is no wonder Technorati choose to add nofollow on every page, but that is also their undoing.
Many smart bloggers, because Technorati isn’t sharing any link love don’t link to Technorati directly, and use internal tagging. WordPress will have tagging built in with the release of WordPress 2.2.
Wordpress.com has for a long time used its own internal tagging system, and I questioned a while ago that this was potentially an extremely smart SEO move.

Technorati is heavily cross linked, but all the cross linking is nofollow ugly pink links.

Blogcatalog can justify having followable links, because there is a human review process for every blog, and they have also added a voting processs and other quality controls to highlight the highest quality content that readers find valuable.

Conclusion

I have had direct contact at various times with people from MyBlogLog, Blogcatalog and Bumpzee, and at this time I have no direct financial incentive to promote one particular service over another, and am purely writing about what I observe to be great features, and encouraging more.
I don’t know whether I am the only person directly encouraging Blogcatalog to add what I feel are cool features, and some of these features are also a feature of Bumpzee, who I have also actively encouraged to include them both publicly and in normal user feedback discussions by email.

So far I am only scratching the surface of what is possible…

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*Originally published at AndyBeard.eu

Blogcatalog vs Technorati?
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