Technorati has gotten a little bit of heat recently from Marc Canter and Dave Winer, which prompted me to take a look at how Technorati stacks up against its competition in the blog search space. Hat-tip also to Josh Hallett, who pointed me to a relevant post of his the other day.
Alexa is an excellent traffic-ranking tool, owned by Amazon. Take a look at the following comparison graphs from Alexa - you may be surprised by the results. They show that Technorati is growing at a rapid rate. It's recently overtaken Bloglines and is blitzing Feedster. My thoughts on WHY are at the end of this post.
The graphs below are all comparisons of "daily reach", which measures the number of users a website has. The time span I'm measuring is 1 year. So these graphs show how each website has grown (or not) in users during the past year.
Technorati vs Feedster
This clearly shows that a gulf has opened up between Technorati (blue line) and Feedster (red line) since the beginning of 2005. Prior to that the two sites were relatively even, with Technorati always slightly ahead. But now Technorati is streaking away from its main competitor. Dave Sifry and his team will be rapt by that, but it must be a major concern for Feedster.
Technorati vs Bloglines
This shows that Technorati overtook Bloglines at the beginning of June and it looks like they may hold that lead too (judging by the sudden spike for Technorati during June/July).
Technorati vs PubSub
Shows that although PubSub are growing, it's not nearly fast enough compared to Technorai.
Bloglines vs Feedster
This graph compares Bloglines to Feedster - now ranked 2 and 3 respectively in the 'blog search' space according to Alexa. Bloglines has a healthy lead - and again it shows a slight tailing off with Feedster.
Feedster vs PubSub
Shows that PubSub has a bit of work to do to catch up to Feedster and the others.
The usual caveats about Web stats apply - i.e. assume the data may be unreliable. Nevertheless, the main trends here are clear:
1. Technorati is on a roll. I think this may be due to their recent tagging initiatives. Bud Gibson has an interesting theory about this. In a post entitled Folksonomy makes tag aggregators king of search rankings, Bud explained that Technorati's aggregation of tags has resulted in high search engine rankings in Google, Overture, etc.
2. What's happened to Feedster? They were once neck and neck with Technorati, but these stats show they've dropped off the pace. Maybe it's because Feedster is focusing on different niches nowadays - e.g. they're rolling out an ambitious Media Network, which I'm going to be testing soon btw.
I really like Feedster - they recently made me their Feed of the Day for the second time (first time was a couple of years ago). I'd like to see them succeed, so hopefully this is a temporary blip on the radar in terms of their user stats.
There are other trends to note, but I think I'll go ahead and post this now and let others jump in via the comments.
UPDATE, 7 July 2005: Several people have left comments that the companies I chose may not necessarily have the same business models - and indeed may not be "competitors" (a word I used in my post). Chris Redlitz from Feedster also emailed me about this matter. Chris said (I have permission to quote him):
"Technorati and Feedster are fundamentally very different businesses. Feedster is focused on feed subscription, syndicated search and advertising. Many people do not search feedster.com but access us through feed subscriptions, which is not reflected on Alexa."
Fair enough and point taken. I still think the Alexa charts show some valid trends that are worth noting. But as the comments I've received highlight, it may not be a level playing field for PubSub and Feedster in particular when it comes to Alexa stats.
Some people also pointed out the technical issues that Technorati has from time to time. Shelley Powers illustrated this by telling me I've been Squidded. Heh.