If you haven’t explored Technorati, the blog search engine, you might be surprised at what a great tool for bloggers that it is. This short list shows you there is more to Technorati than you might realize, and many of the features are useful to bloggers.
- Find hot terms: top searches.
Want to know what people are searching for on Technorati? Check the Top Searches list. If you search for the same terms a fair bit, use the Watchlist feature, which acts like an automated search aggregator.
- Find hot terms: top tags.
Technorati indexes blogs and assigns one or more tags for each blog post. The Top Tags tag cloud displays what tags are most common at the moment. This data can change at any time Technorati indexes new blog posts anywhere in the blogosphere. Note that Technorati tags might overlap blog platform categories but are not the same.
- Find popular rich media.
Want to know what videos, music, movies, games and other items are popular right now? Technorati scans blog posts – that it has indexed – for links to known “media” sites such as YouTube, IMDB and Amazon and builds a Popular list.
- Blogosphere search.
Search for blog posts mentioning a specific keyword/ phrase. The results are displayed starting from the freshest.
- Find niche blogs.
Search for blogs falling into a specifc niche category. This is a great tool for building up Top X Blogs lists for a certain category.
- Track backlinks.
Use their Cosmos feature to determine who is linking to you. Amongst other uses, this also helps you track blog carnivals you might have been accepted into.
- Get traffic.
Once Technorati indexes your blog, that could bring you traffic, especially if you are writing in a popular niche. It’s not guaranteed, but it could help.
- Spread trends
That’s “Where’s the Fire?”, not the other meaning. WTF is Technorati’s social voting feature. Submit a brief description of a topic to create some buzz about it. You can include relevant links, so a WTF might bring you traffic. Just don’t spam WTF.
- Claim your blog(s).
Let other Technorati users know that a blog is yours by claiming it. You can even put an avatar up if you like, and your bio.
- Favorite some blogs.
The Favorite feature simply aggregates the latest posts from any blogs you add to it. They can be your own or someone elses. Essentially, you can use it in lieu of an RSS reader.
- Customize Technorati tools.
Use the Technorati API to build custom applications, or use one of the many widgets or plugin tools.
- Find popular blogs.
See what sites have the greatest buzz going. Blogs listed in the Technorati Top 100 already get a lot of traffic, but being on the list is sort of self-perpetuating. Or at least it had been, and many bloggers complained that they didn’t stand a chance at cracking the list.Then Technorati started applying a sort of momentum measure for Authority. That is, Authority indicates the number of sites linking to your blog, but those links are no longer permanently recorded in Technorati. They’re only good for 180 days. So newer popular blogs now stand a chance of knocking off veteran bloggers.
Bonus Use: Web 2.0 logo mashup random slideshow.
Here’s how to have some real web 2.0 mashup fun. This is completely frivolous, but a bit of entertainment.
- Sign up for a free Technorati API key.
- Pick a term, any term.
- Build a Yahoo! Pipe and use the URL Builder and Fetch Feed modules to retrieve search results for that term.
- Sort results chronologically (most recent first).
- Use the Term Extractor module to extract any keywords.
- Use the Loop and Flickr modules to pull 1 or more images that have tags related to each extracted term.
- Feed the output URL to a slideshow player such as SplashCast.
It’s quite possible I’ve forgotten something, since there’s a lot more to Technorati than just a blog search engine.