Thursday, 18 August 2005

Technorati: the new look - searching changes






Since the public beta of their new look site, Technorati's searching has worked differently and Niall Kennedy of Technorati has confirmed that it's official. The old style "cosmos" searching still works, but it's only through being redirected. So to speed up your searching on Technorati, the best format now to use is:

http://technorati.com/search/yoursearchtermhere

Therefore I've updated my previous post - which gave code you can add to your blog template to enable people, with one click, to search for mentions on Technorati of your blog or a particular post. Technorati however don't seem yet to have updated their own help page on the subject to deal with the new format: they still refer to the old "cosmos" format, as of the date of writing this post.

A more interesting and tantalising change is that Kennedy says you can now confine a search to a particular location, e.g. you can search for the occurrence of certain text within only a certain blog. Here's a search form making use of that new functionality:

Search for this word or phrase:
Within this blog only (enter blog URL):

Now it would be interesting to know:
  • Kennedy says "You can also add advanced operators after your search query such as restricting a search to one particular weblog." So it would be helpful if Technorati were to explain the OTHER advanced operators that they've clearly now introduced (or if they have but I've not been able to find the right page perhaps someone would be so kind as to point me in the right direction... Maybe it's just the keyword, website URL and tag searches they've now added to their main search page?)
  • in their search options why don't they provide a search form like I have above, to make it easier for people, particularly beginners, to confine their search to just one particular blog?
Also, remember that search results are only as good as the index being searched. If Technorati hasn't fully indexed a blog whose content is, unbeknownst to you, exactly what you're looking for, then searching on Technorati won't do you any good at all in terms of finding that blog, no matter what search options you use. And Technorati's indexing seems to have gone from bad to worse. Which is a subject for a separate post (it will need many deep breaths and several cups of tea before I tackle it, as a red mist seems to blur my vision and I start to hyperventilate whenever I start to think about it, these days...).


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2 comments:

Tish Grier said...

Great post! From a low-tech perspective, Technorati is extremely oblique about what it does, how it does it, etc. If one does not have the particular acumen to interpret their arcane language and methods, one is, to use a term, f*ck out of luck. It would be very nice for them to make the system easier, not more complicated, to use. And, if they want to complicate it, at least they should put their help information into user-friendly language.

Improbulus said...

Thanks Tish!

I agree (hence my own guides on Technorati, though no I don't get paid by them for that!) - although Technorati are not the only service guilty of being oblique and too techie for most of us.