Monday, 13 March 2006

Technorati tag problems: they're on it; but do report your problems

An update on the occasional problems with the tag pages of blogosphere search engine Technorati, which I've posted about before, and which led me to try an experiment whose interesting but curious results are posted here.

Just to recap briefly - even when you've tagged your posts properly, sometimes a particular post won't show up on Technorati's tag pages for any of the tags you've used. The problem seems to be specific to the post - if it won't show up on one Technorati tag page, it won't show up on any of them; yet other posts before or after the "problem" post will show up fine, and the post still gets tagged properly on e.g. rival blogosphere search engine Icerocket.

The last time I had this problem, I decided to try to figure out what was going wrong, or at least what it was about my post which Technorati's system didn't like. I found that it was definitely certain content or code which was doing it consistently, at least in the case of that one post, but I still don't know what the common factor is amongst all the posts that don't get onto Technorati's tag pages, though I assume there must be one; and I don't know why it is that Technorati's system doesn't like that content, as it was just some text and links and a couple of images, nothing out of the ordinary - no complex HTML or Javascript etc.

Thanks to Kent Newsome, Welcome to Wallyworld and Successful Blog and Solar Dweller, amongst others, for mentioning my post and helping to draw attention to the issue.

And some good news - Dave Sifry, Technorati's CEO, emailed me about my test results, to say:
This is an AMAZING bug report. Wow, thanks. We're on top of it and will be in touch if there's any questions. This issue has been puzzling us for a while - I hope that your post and excellent data helps our engineers to get to the bottom if the issue quickly...

...Thanks for the FANTASTIC bug report, it gave us a lot to work with.

...We continue to debug and develop to fix this stuff...

So, it's great to know that they're on it. Clearly the issue has been puzzling them as well as us - and to help them to get to the bottom of it quickly, may I suggest that if anyone else suffers problems with certain of their tagged posts not appearing on Technorati's tag pages (but appearing on say Icerocket's), you should report the bug to Technorati, giving them a link to the problem post's permalink.

If you have time and want to try the same thing as me, i.e. break your problem post down into separate bits and repost each individual section to see exactly which section Technorati's system doesn't like, and again submit an error report about the problem section to Technorati, that might also help speed up resolution of the problem - I think they want to sort it out as much as we do!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Thanks Improbulus,
David Sifry's right you did their work for them. I admire the way you attack problems, tear them apart and get to the bottom of them. Mr. Sifry will do his best I'm sure to get things going. . . .

I suggest follow up with Janice Myint. She's the one who got my blog working after 7 months. It now updates within seconds. She's gem to work with too.

Congratulations on the breakthrough. You made it happen. Only goes to prove that if we in the "Magic Middle" stick together we do have some kind of power. :)

FoxTwo said...

I might have a possible explanation for this problem. Like you, I find that tags are missing from some posts but not others.

Then, for no reason, I decided to look at my Blogger's original Atom feed (even though, like you, I'm using Feedburner).

Apparently, the ATOM.XML got messed up, and the posts that do not have Technorati tags show up in the XML do not get indexed at Technorati too.

So I went into my Blogger configs and made sure that I had selected FULL under the Site Feed tab, instead of Short. To make sure, I changed it to SHORT, saved, changed it to FULL again, saved, and republished.

I checked the ATOM.XML and made sure it showed the full posts, including the Technorati tags at the bottom of the posts. Then I went to Technorati and pinged the blog.

And my tags all appeared :)

Improbulus said...

Thanks for your comments, Liz and Elite.

Liz - I'll follow up with her, thanks. I've had yet another post not get picked up, yet again. I sure hope they get to the bottom of this soon. And yes, we all need to stick together!

Elite - as Technorati (and Google Blog Search) make use of feeds to update their indexes, it's certainly best to output a full feed as your base feed, see e.g. this post on why. Your solution definitely would help if you had a shortened feed before. However there is still a problem with Technorati as even those of us with full feeds find some posts don't get tagged. We'll see...

Anonymous said...

Any updates on this issue? Sure would be nice to know if anyone ever figured this out. Thanks.