Last week, when we heard that Technorati had raised another $7.5 million, bringing their total raised to $30 million, we asked you what blog search engine you use. 41% of you answered Technorati, but it was clear that Google Blog Search has cut into Technorati’s marketshare, and some commenters said that they didn’t have a need for a dedicated blog search — Google worked just fine. This morning, Technorati expanded beyond the business of blog search to blog advertising with the launch of Technorati Media.
Since it seems likely that regular people don’t read blogs (at least not, er, regularly), the market for a dedicated blog search engine is possibly a very small one. Even Google buries their Blog Search option way down in the “More” drop down menu on their site.
However, blogs are still big business. While most “regular” people might not be avid blog readers, they still read them passively when encountering blog content via links from mainstream sources, links in emails, or search results. All that adds up to a lot of monetizable, niche traffic. That’s where Technorati is hoping to score big. The company says that it “collects, organizes, highlights, and distributes the online global conversation,” which is short hand for, “we have a lot of data on who’s saying what about what.”
This morning I talked to Alan Levy, CEO of BlogTalkRadio, which has been an early beta tester of the new Technorati Media ad network. Levy had nothing but nice things to say about Technorati. “There’s no doubt that major brands want to be part of the conversation with the blogosphere,” Levy told me, and Technorati has a reputation as a company that understands that conversation. Blogs are conversational in nature, Levy said, and the long tail network that Technorati is assembling will allow brands to be part of that via very targeted advertising.
Appealing to the long tail is a smart play for Technorati. As we wrote last November, there’s no money in the long tail, but there is plenty to be made on the long tail because there is volume there. That’s essentially how AdSense works — sell targeted ads to specific niches across a huge inventory assembled from low traffic sites. If Technorati, which sells on a CPM basis and is willing to negotiate the revenue split with blogs — something Google won’t do except with its largest publishers — can out perform AdSense for long tail bloggers, they’ll have a real winner on their hands.