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Search engine Technorati, which has made its name on blogs, launched an overhaul of its site today. The biggest change is a simplified front page that now emphasizes popular videos, with blogs and music playing second and third fiddle, respectively.
The new look and video-forward approach might help the site appeal to a broader audience, but it’s really just a facelift. Technorati hasn’t updated its video search to include more than YouTube; the “Videos” tab simply redirects to its old http://technorati.com/pop/youtube/ page, which has been up for quite a while now. Indexes from competing services such as AOL’s SearchVideo, blinkx, and Dabble have a lot more variety.
GigaOm is confused by the site’s new direction, and worries that the site is following in the giant footsteps of the 800-pound Goo-rilla with its “live web” approach.
What kept me a Technorati user for all these years was the rich search functionality, not the front page “most popular” listings. Being able to find both the newest and the oldest blog posts on any given topic is critical when you’re trying to stay on top of news and research a story.
But when I clicked on a front page link for grey fox Anderson Cooper, and then clicked on the ‘video’ tab, the listings were from one to over twelve months old, and were arranged in no particular order that I could discern (in other words, the nebulous ‘relevance’ ordering that I can get at regular old Google). Wouldn’t hardcore Coop fans want to see his latest star turn?
Technorati should match its video search functionality with its time-driven blog search, so, for instance, I could have easily compiled a post of ‘best of’ Maker Faire video from last weekend, where I personally witnessed the ratio of video cameras to people being something like 1:4, and the ratio of web-savvy people being something like 1:1.
With help from Liz Gannes.