Will money make Technorati better?

Technorati, the blog-ranking and search tool, has gotten more financing — $7.6-million (U.S.) from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Mobius Venture Capital. For a sense of how divided opinions are when it comes to T’rati, check out the difference between what Mashable wrote about the deal and what TechCrunch wrote. Pete Cashmore at Mashable says that Technorati is way ahead of Feedster (not very hard, Pete) and has fended off new rivals like Sphere, while Marshall Kirkpatrick at TechCrunch says that Technorati has been struggling, staff have left and the financing was likely done at a discount. Ouch.

It’s hard to think of a Web 2.0 property (apart from perhaps TechCrunch itself) that inspires such a wide range of opinions, all the way from love to hate. In the interests of full disclosure, I would like to point out that I have had some issues with Technorati’s tracking of this blog in the past, including stale stats and a failure to update for weeks at a time even after repeated pings, but those issues were cleared up — without any personal pleas to Dave Sifry — and I have been pretty happy with the service.

At the same time, however, there are those who have had some problems with Technorati — all the way from its ranking methodology to its customer service and its indexing hiccups. I’ve had emails from a veteran software engineer and startup executive complaining about how weeks go by sometimes and Technorati’s data on blog traffic or rankings is clearly flawed or non-existent, and there is no response from the company. Is that fair? Maybe, maybe not. I know I find the Technorati 100 somewhat flawed, and the “authority” ranking is also dodgy.

Some of this is no doubt due to understandable growing pains or hiccups. Tracking 48 million blogs or whatever they are up to now is not easy to do (of course, people argue about that blogosphere measurement as well, not surprisingly) and it’s possible that the company has been having issues of “scale,” as the VCs say. Hopefully the money will help. We need all the search and indexing tools we can get.


My friend Pete Dawson is right to note the deal the Technorati and Edelman signed a month or two ago — no doubt some of the money will be used for that as well.

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