Climate Progress is Technorati’s top-ranked “Green” website, but …

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"Climate Progress is Technorati’s top-ranked “Green” website, but …"

… anti-green WattsUpWithThat.com is #2!  By this categorization, why isn’t the Drudge Report the #1 Green website?

Technorati2

I regularly use Technorati to check who is linking to CP, and stumbled across the fact that last month they totally redesigned their “Technorati Authority” and added a topical ranking by category.

As you can see here, I am (for now) the top-ranked website among Green blogs and news sites.  Of course, people who follow this space closely will wonder why they omitted TreeHugger, which would beat everybody (although my rank is currently 994 out of a possible 1000, so they couldn’t beat me by that much, I suppose).

Technorati has been known for a fairly objective and slow-changing measure of influence — links from other sites over the past 6 months.  But I suppose in a desire to be more timely (and, no doubt purely incidentally, boost their own traffic), they have jazzed up this ranking system, and then added a breakdown by category:

What is Technorati Authority?

  • Technorati Authority measures a site’s standing & influence in the blogosphere. With the October 2009 redesign of technorati.com, we’ve changed the Technorati Authority calculations to better reflect the continually changing attention of the blogosphere.
  • We have also added a new measure of Technorati Authority, which is topical by content category, i.e., technology, movies, automotive, etc.

How is Technorati Authority calculated?

  • Authority is calculated based on a site’s linking behavior, categorization and other associated data over a short, finite period of time. A site’s authority may rapidly rise and fall depending on what the blogosphere is discussing at the moment, and how often a site produces content being referenced by other sites.
  • The new Authority calculation differs from the past version, which measured linking behavior over a longer 6 month timeframe….
  • Authority is on a scale of 0-1000. 1000 is the highest possible authority.

How does topical Technorati Authority work?

  • Topical Authority measures a blog’s influence within its subject category.
  • Blogs will appear ranked by topical authority within Technorati’s blog directory.
  • Factors include linking behavior from blogs and posts in the same category, how well a blog’s overall content matches the category in question, and other associated data.
  • It’s possible for a blog to have authority in several different categories. The authority in each category may be different.

Hmm.  Looks like they’ve given up a little bit of their own “authority” in a transparent ranking system to adopt this faster-changing one.  And I’d love to know what that “other associated data” is.

I actually liked the old more static Authority, exactly because it gave you a more slow-changing measure of what should in fact be slow changing — the “Authority” and influence of a blog or website.

No doubt my exceedingly high Authority right now is partly due to the phenomenal amount of traffic and linking I’ve gotten from breaking the story on the Error-riddled book Superfreakonomics — a post that has been read by more than 50,000 people and, whose analysis, I’m happy to say, has been vindicated by major journalists and leading climate scientists.

That said, Technorati is hurting its own credibility by not being more explicit on how it does its Authority calculation and, even more by it’s arbitrary category placement.

It’s silly to put Watts in the Green category.  Equally silly is that Watts is in the the Science category, but Climate Progress isn’t.  Watts is an anti-scientific site that has actually called climate science “the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind,” which is is anti-scientific and anti-science in the most extreme sense. It accuses the entire scientific community broadly defined of deliberate fraud.  More recently, Watts published a piece by the widely-discredited Roy Spencer asserting, “I contend that the belief in human-caused global warming as a dangerous event, either now or in the future, has most of the characteristics of an urban legend.”  Again, that is anti-science.

Now you might think Technorati didn’t put Climate Progress in the Science category because, since the emergence of the climate bills, most of my posts are not purely about the science (although I would argue that most of my posts are driven by the science).  Great argument, except, Wonk Room, for instance, is (deservedly) in the Green Blog category, and CP has a considerably higher fraction of posts that are about science than WR has that are Green (or that WR has that are “Business,” another Category WR is in).

If any readers know someone at Technorati, I’d be interested in hearing their thoughts on this issue.  They are no doubt just working the kinks out of this new system, and you can share any thoughts you want with them by clicking here.

Final note to Technorati:  If you really want to be seen as fast-paced, you’ll probably want to take “Yankees Snag 3-1 Series lead” off your front page!

the Science category, but Climate Progress isn’t.
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5 Responses to Climate Progress is Technorati’s top-ranked “Green” website, but …

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    I don’t mind reading stuff from Watts or McIntyre. Since it doesn’t pass the giggle test, it’s fun to read as comic relief.

    What’s both astounding and depressing is these people’s apparent popularity. This is evidence of massive failure on the part of our media and our educational system.

  2. Dave says:

    Wow, I can’t believe they listed WattsUpWithThat as a “green” website. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

  3. Interesting post at http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/?p=912 says that as we can have collective intelligence, we can also have collective stupidity.

  4. A Siegel says:

    Congrats. Deserved. Probably might be worth mentioning that Wonkroom is also in the top five.

    The new rankings there are, well, utterly confusing, imo.

    Now, I would be the 113th site (with 610 authority) — if Get Energy Smart! NOW! merited being called a “green” site. Don’t even know where they shoehorn me.

  5. TechnoEric says:

    A little late to the discussion here – sorry. We’re categorizing sites in the Technorati Blog Directory based on the topics they discuss, without judgment as to their accuracy. We obviously need to make it more clear that the blog categorization is automated based heavily on terms & phrases in the posts, which is why climate change deniers show up alongside those trying to battle climate change — both are talking about climate change.

    Treehugger is in the list, down around #40 — it could well be that we need to train our categorizer better . Get Energy Smart! is not in the Green category because your Atom feed only provides short snippets of your articles, not enough for us to categorize properly. (Get Energy Smart!’s 610 authority is overall, not in the green category)