Respect My Authority – Social Media Analytics

Posted by

If people like Avinash Kaushik are all excited over the notion of Web Analytics 2.0 and getting beyond the "what are they doing" and into cool metrics like sessions, downloads, actions and other telling ways of seeing who’s doing what online, then the individual’s presence is bound to be next. Technorati now features a ranking called Technorati Authority (it’s been live since May 2007). Here’s how the Technorati Weblog explains Technorati Authority in their Blog posting entitled, Technorati Authority And Rank:

"Technorati Authority is the number of blogs linking to a website in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority the blog has."

It all matters, and it’s getting more important by the day… and here’s why:

Have you even been added by someone on twitter, and when you look at their profile the people following them is one-fifth the size of people they are following? Has someone ever told you about a Blog, and when you look it up on Technorati, it has a very low Technorati Authority rating? You check out a Podcast and there are no audio comments? You are asked to friend someone on Facebook, and you’re suddenly bombarded with event requests and messages that are not for you? You connect to someone on LinkedIn and now your inbox becomes nothing short of headhunter spam?

Being able to see a Blog’s Technorati Authority or looking at how many followers someone has on twitter is, definitely, the new web analytics that count. In a world where a "friend" means many different things to different people, we’re all becoming less and less concerned with how many people are coming to our Websites, and more and more concerned with who they are (and how connected they are).

We all make snap judgements on people (their Personal Brands) based on who’s connected to them, and what the Wisdom of Crowds thinks about that particular individual. Odds are that you won’t be adding someone on twitter if they have not displayed value in their content, and if they are following everybody but nobody is following them.

Social Media web analytics are being run by people like you and I with a quick scan of our eyes (and no need for tethered technology). It could well be the most important (and powerful) metric Marketers need to think about when they begin looking at new Digital Marketing initiatives. They’ll also have to focus not just on who they would like to connect to, but in this new world of transparency, how they are perceived in the social channels as well.

The best part? These types of web analytics have little to do with math, science or technology and everything to do with how one person connects to the rest of the world.

After watching my habits online with this thought in my brain, I have a new-found love for Eric Cartman‘s infamous line from South Park, "respect my authority."


  1. I have to say Mr. Joel that I respected your authority even before reading this post, but now for some odd reason I feel compelled to respect it even more!! : )
    Excellent observation on how we are using these new metrics as we understand / analyze / filter this new medium.
    In my BlogWorld presentation in Nov I recommended using Authority as a critical measure of your social success.
    Since that word, Authority, has baggage I reframed it to “ripple index”. The thought was “you are participating in the most social of social mediums, when you talk do you cause a ripple”?
    There were two other reasons I like Technorati Authority.
    1) It measures Unique Blogs. So if you mention me three times, I get one credit. Harder to game.
    2) The links expire every six months. I love this. It puts pressure on you to consistently put out “remarkable” content (cause ripples). You can’t rack up a score and then rest on your laurels. I love how aggressive that is. : )
    Technorati has been having some management troubles recently, I hope they tide over. It is a nice company.
    Good food for thought today. Thanks.
    PS: In case readers might find it to be of value:
    Blog Metrics: Six Recommendations For Measuring Your Success

  2. “You will *respect* my authori-TAH!” Love that quote. And if we were together, I’d do a killer Cartman impersonation.
    Thanks for marshalling all of the resources here. This is a great post for people who aren’t familiar with these tools. And unfortunate as it may seem, we’re still relegated to superficial assessments as we look at authority/reputation.
    What I’m trying to do each week is to find a new blog or follow a new Twitterer who doesn’t yet have a high authority, in order to listen to new voices and hopefully inoculate myself against being trapped in the echo chamber.

  3. Hmm not sure why but my trackback isn’t appearing.
    I have to say that I disagree with you, Mitch. I have 2 problems with Technorati’s Authority rankings:
    1) Technorati doesn’t discriminate between links. Scrapes, blogroll links or an actual meaningful link will all be picked up.
    2) Non-blogers are automatically excluded. You can’t link to someone on Technorati if you don’t have a blog.
    I’m not sure “connected” is a good metric to use. Joseph Jaffe has a higher Technorati ranking than you do by about 150 points, but your Facebook group has double his members. Is that information meaningful?

  4. Not sure why your trackback is not working Daryl. I just looked on the backend and it’s not there… maybe re-try it.
    For the record, I’m not saying if someone has more authority they are more meaningful. I think we all know that most of these metrics can be gamed. Those I dismiss immediately – unless – as Scott Monty pointed out – it’s a hidden gem or or new community member.

  5. I don’t agree with link baiting or with link exchanges just to increase your ranking/standing. I do however believe that blogs genuinely link if they find the post useful or the blog itself to be useful. I link to Steve Pavlina for the same reasons.

  6. I was also interested in the Technorati authority, however it has proven to be very unreliable. I have followed more than 100 blogs for 3 months, and one third had outdated values. Feel free to contact me for details.

Comments are closed.