I noticed the other day that this blog’s Technorati ‘authority’ rating had dropped by a point. Your ‘Authority’ rating is actually a measure of your blog’s popularity, rather than a measure of the worth of the information you are imparting, based on the principle that the more people are discussing something, the more authoritative it must be. High minded, but you can probably see the flaw in that argument: by that reasoning, the most intellectually stimulating and valuable media phenomena today are Big Brother, the Diana inquest and X Factor 🙂
Be that as it may, I was confused by the drop, since as far as I was aware the rating is based on the links that Technorati finds back to your blog. So I wondered if someone had deleted a link back to me, and if so why. As it happens, the truth is rather less worrisome, and more complex.
A post over at ‘This Eclectic Life‘ made it all clear: the value assigned to links expires over time, so to maintain your Authority, you need to keep a stream of new referrals to your blog. This in itself is no bad thing; it encourages bloggers to regularly post fresh, interesting material that addresses the core themes that other people are discussing. There is also a lot more calculation that goes on in the background to determine your rating, but the ‘first in, first out’ principle seems to be the main mechanism at work.
Of course, if all that seems too much trouble, you can just post a gross-out video from YouTube and let viral interest do the rest.
I know which path I’d rather follow!