By 7 years ago in Blogging Marketing

4 Ways to Get Banned from the Technorati Top 100

The Technorati Top 100 list is probably the most accurate blog ranking system available but most people don’t realise how much hand editing is involved.

The following people are all deserving of a Top 100 ranking based on blog reactions but have been removed from the list because they didn’t get there “naturally”.

Create a popular plugin

Web developer Alex King runs by far the most popular blog in the world. His Technorati Authority of 87,909 dwarfs Engadgets authority of just 31,201. Technorati has decided that Alex isn’t worthy of being the number 1 blog in the world and has removed him from the top 100 list.

Alex King

Alex gained his ranking by creating a plugin to display the most popular posts on a WordPress blog, Yahoo reports 1.7 million links to the plugin home page.

Be evil & exchange links

John Chow is probably the best example of a blogger intent on manipulating Technorati and it is no surprise that he was banned from the Top 100. Not quite as spectacular as Alex King, John has an authority of 5649 giving him a position of 44 if he was allowed in the Top 100.

John Chow

John made the mistake of asking his readers to write a review about of his blog in exchange for a link back which resulted in his ban from the list.

Create some blogging software

WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg is another number 1 ranking blogger with an authority of 79,344, more than twice as high as Engadget.

Matt Mullenweg

Matt has been unceremoniously banned from the Technorati Top 100 because his links come from the default WordPress blogroll.

Design a popular blog theme

Binary Moon, home of the hugely popular Regulus theme for WordPress has a Technorati authority of 9,476 making it the 14th most popular blog in the world. Unfortunately Technorati doesn’t like this and has banned the site from the Top 100.

Binary Moon

Why Technorati don’t just learn to discount links outside the content area of blogs is beyond me. Hand editing results to prop up a flawed algorithm is totally wrong.

By Patrick Altoft. at 2:05PM on Wednesday, 19 Dec 2007

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.

comments

111 Responses to “4 Ways to Get Banned from the Technorati Top 100”

  1. Matthew says:

    You made some interesting points there. I knew of John Chow not making the list, but never put 2 and 2 together to realise he was manually removed for that reason.

  2. Yes hand editing can be good thing if used ethically.

  3. David Fiske says:

    Is Technorati trying to become the new Google in terms of penalising those who try to beat the system?

  4. gunnar says:

    David Fiske: so one should not get penalized for breaking rules?

  5. This is interesting. My gut reaction is to think that the need for hand-editing represents a failure in the system. But I don’t know enough about the trials of such systems to know how realistic it is to design a fool-proof one.

  6. Eric Red says:

    They should be included. It’s not like these sites are spammy.

  7. Scott says:

    I’m in with the last group. My blog profile on Technorati has me listed at #37 in the top 100.

    Since releasing the Sandbox, I’ve included rel=designer in footer theme links. I wish the folks at Technorati would get behind this.

  8. Joel Wideman says:

    John Chow games the system. Banning him is to be expected. But the people who have so clearly given so much to the community? This is wrong.

  9. Eric Marden says:

    While unfortunate, I agree with the WordPress related ones. Its Technorati’s way of keeping the content level high. Nobody but WP users care about Alex King, Matt Mullenweg, or the Binary Moon ‘Regulus’ theme. But because their audience are other bloggers, its easy for them to build authority (especially when just about every post they make is integrated into the dashboard of WP-Admin).

    However, John Chow’s issue is a bit different. Asking for a review from your audience – even if its meant to boost their rankings in any search engine is NOT unethical. In fact, that’s what I call engaging your community. I’d love more links back to my sites, and having my readers do it is the first place I’d look for such links – after asking friends and family. What’s the big deal, Technorati?

  10. The first thing I have to do to get banned from the Technorati top 100 is to make sure that I get in this top 100.
    A long way to go.

  11. Jeffro2pt0 says:

    Thank you for bringing this up. I just realized the other day that if I wanted to boost my authority on Technorati, I would have to create a WordPress theme or something that contained a link to my blog so that the more people that use it, the more incoming links I have, the more authority I gain. This is wrong and this post clearly demonstrates why Technorati needs to do a completely overhaul to their algorithm.

  12. random passerby says:

    What do you consider “the content area of blogs”? Please identify it; code that reaches 99% accuracy across the blogosphere would be a good start.

    @Eric: King and Mullenweg aren’t “spammy” per se, but they’re part of the default blogroll for every WordPress blog ever installed. Similarly, every person who has set the Regulus theme for their blog includes a link to Binary Moon.

  13. Pi says:

    Is this linked to the dumping of Technorati from the WordPress Dashboard in favour of the far, far inferior google blog searches?

  14. Jenny says:

    I agree about John Chow but the others? C’mon!

  15. Jad says:

    In short, have a successful blog and get banned.

  16. Matt B. says:

    Technorati isn’t so used today as it was before…

  17. Damien says:

    Technorati is best if it showcases “up and comings.” These people complaining are already sickeningly huge and known. What are they crying about? If I am off base, let me know.

  18. Brayne says:

    Google –

    Technorati sucks = 628,000.
    Wordpress sucks = 517,000.

    Obviously WordPress sucks WAY less than technorati. Don’t be hating Chow for making some scratch. He’s a weiner clever dude that will get along just fine w/o technorati. With regard to Matt… I think he’ll be fine too.

  19. Ben says:

    Hey – thanks for noticing Smile

    I’m not the only theme designer to be banned from Technorati – I’m just the only one in this list. Regulus has done far better than I ever expected, becoming one of the top themes on wordpress.com (which I suspect is the reason for my ban). Kubrick and Binary Bonsai have been banned in a similar way – as have many other theme authors.

  20. Banner_Man says:

    Yes hand editing can be good, i thing so :P

  21. Bret says:

    Interesting points and well thought comments. I know that John Chow was basically gaming the system when he asked for reviews in return for link backs; however, one might conclude that if John Chow had no readers, then his trade would be meaningless. Is he “really” gaming the system? I’m not sure. I can see why they removed Matt Mullenweg and Binary Moon. They’re getting links by default not based on superior blog content. Alex King, however, makes some fantastic plug-ins, so I’m thinking he should be able to retain his real Technorati ranking. All that being said, doesn’t the value of a system like Technorati diminish when it “manipulates” its own top 100 list? Where’s the “social” aspect of a ranking system that relies on “editorial” intervention?

  22. Andy Beard says:

    Alex was banned well before his share this plugin was even conceived.

    I have written about this a few times in the past.

    Anyone who wants to avoid being banned should just use another domain or a subdomain with a 301 redirect.

    These are not the only ones banned, there are probably more than 100.

    Another thing that can get you banned are links from widgets

    Theme designers should no about this, it has been written about so many times in the past, but they will continue to not use workarounds because in the main it helps them sell links and advertising.

    The problem is with themes this is something that is impossible to fix if you change your mind, the themes are “out there”

    This doesn’t just affect the top100, it also affects search results on Technorati.

  23. ShadowKnight says:

    To me it seems ludicrous that hand editing is required in the cases other than John Chow. The others have contributed greatly to the blogosphere without requesting links. They thus should be rewarded.

  24. Early disclosure and background: I am a former employee of Technorati and a shareholder. I am intimately familiar with crawling and ranking functions and I have been in the search industry for 8+ years. I have not worked Technorati for almost 2 years.

    I see two issues here:

    1. Authors of tools and add-ons having a fully weighted link a blog author might not fully vouch.
    2. Technorati and other services not distinguishing between links and text within a known template.

    Technorati’s Top 100 most popular blogs list ranks weblogs in its index by the number of unique blog citations over the past 180 days. If Molly links to one of Bill’s articles an average of once per month she might have 6 total citations of Bill’s work and Technorati will count Molly’s blog as one unique citation source.

    Links included by default with third-party tools (WordPress, Plugin XYZ, etc.) might be included left in a blog’s template for many reasons. The author might not know how to remove or prune such links, or they might really like having Matt in their blogroll and keep him around. Search engines see a page’s output, not intentions, but might try to de-emphasize the known existence of automatically generated links that don’t necessarily represent an author’s enthusiasm for someone else’s work.

    Google’s PageRank algorithm calculates a score for each page on your blog. Your page might have a weight of 100 points which is then distributed among 20 links on the page, or about 5 points each. Search engines encourage the use of “nofollow” link relationship wherever a blog author cannot vouch for a link’s inclusion on the page and these links are then not weighted along with your page. Yahoo! supports designating portions of a page as not related to the main content or included as part of a standard template.

    Now on to the questions at hand. Knowing all the ways there are to distinguish default templates and links a blog author cannot directly vouch for, should third-party tool providers markup their content appropriately? The value of high Google rankings provides disincentive for any third-party to provide such exclusionary markup. Blog authors end up handing out a slice of every page’s weight to Alex, Matt, etc. Search engines might block or penalize Alex or Matt for not excluding themselves via methods such as no-follow in the same way a search engine might penalize a paid link on the page.

    The second issue is whether Technorati and others should recognize this template behavior and calculate separate citation scores for such sources. Someone linking to a post from Matt is a much more solid vote than Matt’s appearance on a WordPress sidebar. Instead of merely recognizing the unwanted behavior and deciding never to include that source the search engine could do more filtering to help Matt know when people like his blog posts. The search engines are disincented from custom crafting special rules for tool authors that might not have followed rule #1 and opted out of link counts in the first place.

  25. I know of at least two others that ARE on the top 100 because of similar ways (one released a widget, the other a theme). So either Technorati is lazy, or there are other reasons these people don’t rank accurately.

    (My guess is the former ;) )

  26. No good deed goes unpunished. Really good deeds like making WordPress available to us free deserve special punishment, so it would seem.

    Too bad.

  27. Hone says:

    Technorati rankings have no worth at all since they are influenced by people who are actually signed up to the technorati system, (there are lots of peoples whose opinions are worthy who never use technorati but regularly read blogs).

    The fact that there is hand editing of blogs from the top 100 shows that there is a high amount of subjectivity.

  28. theGrim says:

    Haha, this is pretty funny. As an aspiring blogger, it’s good to know what to watch out for. ;)

  29. Wayne Liew says:

    Hand editing done to algorithms can be good in filtering spams or anything that should be banned.

    However, this “anything that should be banned” is too subjective and it depends on the owner of the algorithm.

    I am sure that all the above sites should be allowed to get into the Top 100. For John Chow’s site, we should reward if someone is intelligent enough (or evil) to game the system as there is surely no money transaction involved like those link trading out there. :twisted:

  30. Kissing Bandit says:

    Consider for a moment that those people who are listed in the TT100 without being manually edited actually deserve their positions because they did nothing, aside from write solid content and build a cult following, to warrant their place.

    All of the people mentioned in this list have done something to alter or skew the results in their favour. Whether or not it was intentional, spammy, or otherwise is irrelevant.

    Alex King creates numerous plugins which, by default, link back to his website. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it unnaturally inflates his rankings.

    Matt Mullenweg had (no longer as of WP 2.3) embedded a link to his blog in the default installation of WP. Unfortunately, many people didn’t understand how to remove it and it stayed there for a while until they learned how, thereby inflating his own rankings.

    John Chow…well, that’s just obvious.

    The dude who created the theme…again, same situation as Alex King and Matt Mullenweg.

    Just because they’re masters at building backlinks en masse by distributing a product with the link already there doesn’t automatically mean they should be included in the list.

    Build a cult following, naturally accrue backlinks, and then complain.

    Sure, Matt has a lot of natural backlinks, but I’m certain his Photomatt site is nowhere near as popular as Engadget (except to WP fanboys). Same with Alex and same with theme dude. The only exception I would say is John simply because he has developed a cult following because of his controversial blog and in some respects, I do believe he belongs there (he’s the only one in the list who didn’t embed his link in something he distributed).

    On a final note, it’s Technorati’s list, they can do whatever they darn well please. Always keep that in mind when griping.

    -KB

  31. Albert Rosa says:

    This is messed up< what if I wanted to do some plugins to multi target different blogging software! in which I am in the proces of... I'ma get banned for being hip to new additions!

  32. Jeff Folger says:

    I wondered for those of us who are new when some of these rankings would be demystified. I think my rank is all of 1 but I don’t check everyday. I’m more worried about how to make my blog more interesting to draw in mover visitors… Maybe someday you’ll come visit this poor photographer.. Smile

  33. artofnet says:

    It’s a good start, I think this step to make technorati ranking system is more accurate.

  34. Jalaj says:

    Is Technorati trying to become the new Google in terms of penalising those who try to beat the system?

    Technorati is not a fraction of Google. Google has algorithm to check for duplicate contents and excludes all leaving one. Technorati don’t even have ways to check for different pages from same blog

  35. Ian Kallen says:

    Thanks for bringing this issue up.

    Technorati’s authority metric is calculated by counting the unique set of blogs linking to another blog in the trailing 180 days. As has been discussed, not all links are created equally. Links that are made by the author as gestures of attention towards another publication are significant, but we’ve deemed that the ones put there by the blog’s underlying software or template defaults are not. This isn’t a new policy or anything, it’s been that way for years. Counting those other “system” links that weren’t put there by the blog authors only measures the popularity of those platforms and templates, not the attention that their developers receive. Just to be clear, those blogs aren’t banned from Technorati but if we listed every toolsmith out their with successfully linked-to tools in the top 100, would that really be better?

    We don’t claim that our authority measurement and top 100 lists are perfect. We know they aren’t. However, they provide some measures that serve many to identify to what extent a blog has sustained mindshare in the proceeding 6 months. Unfortunately, there are some great blogs such as those pointed out in this post that aren’t in the top 100 due to the nuance of “accidental links” and “intentional links.” We’re considering ways to refine these metrics to better deal with these edge cases but at the present time we’re focused on ways to help bloggers gain the spotlight when they are genuinely acquiring attention in the near term. Throughout the day, the Technorati Percolator (http://technorati.com/frontpage/) has several pages in each topical channel of blog posts and news stories that are acquiring the blogosphere’s attention. We hope you’ll explore the data there and let us know what you think.

    Thanks again, as always, we appreciate the feedback.
    -Ian
    Technorati

  36. Hafiz says:

    I imagine in the future where we are supposed to manage every links we wrote just to ensure who they really are: are they just the designer of this theme, accidental links, intentional links… A form of mandatory microformats.

    *shudders*

    This actually is a complicated matter. I don’t know if hand editing is a good solution, but it’s a solution. Somebody who could bring an elegant solution to this would definitely be the new internet hero.

    Well, perhaps.

  37. I definitely think technorati did the right thing by removing blogs that would be rated high for the wrong reasons. Keeping sites there that continuously provide solid content is the best way for them to keep the integrity of their system, but it also dissuades others from attempting to exploit the system.

  38. It’s all about what the Top100 is intended to show.

    If you are looking for blogs that influence the blogosphere, then Matt and Alex should be there. In many ways, they ARE part of the infrastructure.

    If you want “good enough results for general audience”, they may not have a place there, they just happen to be too popular in an influential niche.

    Much like google pagerank, technorati’s incoming links are just a metric. Technorati should come forward and let us know, what they really want to measure.

  39. life & style says:

    this sounds sick. you get to the finish line and all you get is a ban.

  40. Colin says:

    If you try and overplay the system to get ranked, then you deserve to be banned but the other sites do not as they have earned their right to be there.

  41. Ryan Waddell says:

    Alex King also wrote the Spam Karma plugin for WordPress, which is far and away the best spam blocking tool I’ve ever used on my blog.

  42. The Scoop says:

    Why is everyone whining? Technorati has been irrelevant for almost a year now. Why are folks still dealing with that dinosaur?

  43. Mark Penix says:

    @Wayne Liew:

    If you have to hand edit the top 100 your (former) entire technorati system is flawed. If technorati is to provide an accurate service, the algorithm MUST change… because what about the blogs that are in the top 5k or 10k or even 250k due to those same types of links. Doesn’t that make the entire system flawed?

    Technorati never was an accurate gauge and never will be… until it mans up and fixes the code.

  44. kolen says:

    Any of TOP 100 rating systems sucks. For example, Yandex TOP, very popular in Russia blog rating, is putting posts to “most popular post list” for paid (unofficially).

  45. moby says:

    People still use technorati?

  46. Bollywood says:

    I agree with your post, but even google algo has a problem… technorate is doing whats possible right now, rather than wait for the algo to be fixed.

    I don’t see a problem with the manual intervention to clean things.

  47. nurussadad says:

    I like technorati!!!

  48. Izzy says:

    When Technorati started not counting links from blogrolls, my top 5000 ranking (Wooohoo – impressive, right?!) took a major hit. The majority of those links were earned by building relationships with other bloggers, which seemed kind of unfair to me. Then Google dropped my Pagerank 2 points, supposedly because I use Text Link ads. Way to kick someone when they’re down…

    Personally, I think if your blog isn’t a spam farm and you’re a stable part of the blogging community, some leeway should be given. How? Manually? With a better algorithm? Hell, I don’t know.

  49. Sheilla says:

    I don’t really care about the Technorati ranks, all I care about is Google Page Rank…

  50. Sid says:

    Well, Technorati has a lot of flaws, like google, msn, yahoo and the likes.

    I am all for manual intervential if people are spamming or manipulating their way to the top.

  51. chetan says:

    I dont think it is bad to include these sites too.. They had some good technique to get backlinks, why should they get banned for that?

  52. Technorati top 100 is supposed to be interesting webloggers, not link manipulators.

    Some modest amount of manipulation is tolerated but all of the cases above look pretty clear cut.

    The most respectable figure on the list (amazingly enough) is John Chow who does write controversial articles that people do want to read.

    But he’s a tiresome hack as well. You can’t even open his weblog at this point without a noscript module installed. It’s a browser sinker. At this point, Chow has more money than brains. He’s selling himself short with the ready cash approach.

  53. Azrin says:

    Thus why buying Link Exchanges are a default Google cyanide for your pagerank.

    I know, I dropped from PR 5 to a ZERO.

    Happy Holidays everyone.

    Azrin @ http://www.azrin.net

    PS: Do Follow , You Comment I follow plugin users are also known to be killed by Google and Technorati

  54. ByREV says:

    i was banneed 3 times in technorati and never toldme why (real motive)! Now my blog is listed, never banned in last month (dec 2007)!

    But why i was banned ?
    (blog was unbanned with emails to technorati)

  55. tarawat says:

    I care only Google and yahoo Page Rank

  56. Dane Carlson says:

    Thanks for bringing this up. I’m glad that someone else has finally noticed this.

    I created the How Much is Your Blog Worth? widget, using Technorati’s own API, and they banned me.

    http://technorati.com/blogs/www.business-opportunities.biz

    :(

  57. Technorati is only slight less old and busted than Alexa. The quicker people ignore it as a blog metric, the better off they will be.

    Arbitrary and inaccurate. Stay away. It’s meaningless.

  58. digwang says:

    Thats basically why I dont use them. Technorati basically has proved themselves just another marketing plan thats only valuable to them and not us.

  59. Rose says:

    How about banning those that take part in schemes used to increase ranking. Maybe they should start banning them.

  60. So if Technorati is punishing blogs who have built in links in successful internet tools, shouldn’t they too kick out any of those many tech and celebrity blogs who regularly advertise their website or are part of blog networks? Or is there already a provision for that in the system?

    Any blog is going to use it’s success to continue doing what it does, people still have to click on the link for it to matter.

  61. drmike says:

    Just noticed that Matt Cutts is listed twice within the top100 at positions #57th and #60th. I wonder if anyone from Technorati has noticed that.

  62. poortornado says:

    The Technorati top 100 sounds more and more like a beauty pageant the more I read about its politics.

  63. [...] 4 Ways to Get Banned from the Technorati Top 100 [...]

  64. Mademind says:

    so you can’t make something too popular :)

  65. Stocks says:

    I found this amusing.. especially the John Chow part. However, I have to ask what difference does it make if your in the Tech top 100 or not? I mean it ain’t google and your not going to get a ton of traffic from it right? I guess it’s just an ego thing. Cause I think the only people who pay attention to the technocrati list are bloggers who write blogs (not readers). I don’t know anyone who goes to technorati to find a good blog. (but I could be wrong).

  66. Jordan says:

    Wow, I can’t believe some of the reasons they have been banned. It really makes you think about your own blog and the mistakes you might have made as far as Technorati is concerned.

  67. [...] Altoft talk about famous blog that were taken out from Technorati 100 for good reason and  so does Andy [...]

  68. RB says:

    Bannings have gotten completely out of frickin control. After being banned by dozens of sites for various reasons (some justified, some not) my cousin and I started a site outlining this BS. Come vent with us at http://www.theybannedme.com

  69. muse says:

    i’m sure there is many people who dose all the above and get away with it, it’s not way system you use to get to the top, it’s basically can you get away with it?

  70. How would you go about creating a well designed blog theme?

    What would you create it using?

    How would you market it?

    It would be great to see an essay on the subject

  71. TheRSS.net says:

    Why technorati to easy for banned a site from list? I think thats make a decreasing attention blogger.

  72. abeng says:

    My Technorati Rangking at my dofollow blog is growing slowly. I don’t know why. This make me not interest about technorati again..

  73. miskahiper says:

    I have long list on technorati, but until now I do not understand what he meant, thank you very useful info for me ..

  74. blog go blog says:

    technorati indeed become one of the sites where the campaign is the best blog, and I have a list of my blogs there, but until now, blogs have not fit what I want, thank you very useful info for me

  75. Roza says:

    possible ways that can be gone just trying to get the best of the technorati, just hoping that I can link into the technorati may affect my Pagerank

  76. Vienka says:

    :) i love technorati

  77. kakday says:

    Be evil & exchange links hm….

  78. clark says:

    I hate technoraty,My blog ranking growing very slow on technoraty

  79. blog zone says:

    I do not yet register on technorati..thanks for your information about technorati

  80. blog zone says:

    thank you for sharing this trick, very useful

  81. Lela says:

    Technorati is great, I love it

  82. airlangga says:

    Thank.It’s so useful 4me

  83. belog says:

    my technorati authority was decrease.. i dont know how it happened, but i know now from your post, its very inspiring me much

  84. Genduk says:

    I don’t want to get banned from technorati :(

  85. relaks says:

    just try to find how to increase technorati rank..what a great article!!!thanks so much!

  86. belog says:

    My blog still stuck from the beginning when I claimed it… too hard increasing technorati rank…

  87. Walalenka says:

    Hi…I having problem bout claim my blog at technorati…could you help me???

  88. Walasa says:

    nice place to get a new atmosphere here, just wanna say I like it very much…keep blogging my Brada!!! but something hassle to get my blog claimed on technorati, give me advice please??

  89. I dont like techorati

  90. dur14t says:

    My blog is not indexed by Technorati

  91. How to get more traffic from technorati.?

  92. I do not really care about my Technorati.
    But I care about my Google Page Rank :)

  93. wooww i never think to get banned from technoarti ^_^

  94. Voeding says:

    With some reason i hate technorati, also with some reason i like Technorati. Kind a complicated isn't?

  95. robert says:

    great post. i have checked out Searchles and see some really interesting applications. thanks a million for sharing…best seo company

  96. lambang says:

    Thank Your sharing.

  97. Jase says:

    It’s nice to get informed about this information before get banned.

  98. jenny says:

    It is frustrating sometimes how we have to find out the hard way about stuff like this. I think the John Chow issue got resolved in the end though.

  99. Technupower says:

    Nice pointing Patrick,. I love Technorati,.. :)

  100. Nice one’s to avoid – can’t see myself replicating you examples though!

  101. Event Banner says:

    They should def be included, because It’s not like these sites are fake or contain spam.

  102. Donald Trump says:

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  103. satrio says:

    banned …… technorati I hope not

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