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Wild Fluctuations: Can We Trust Technorati’s Stats?

Wild Fluctuations: Can We Trust Technorati’s Stats?
technology

If Technorati's stats on PSFK vary by up to 20% hour by hour - should we trust Technorati's report that 50 million blogs exist?

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 9 august 2006

A couple of days ago we hinted that folk should be careful of the interpretation offered by David Sifry of Technorati’s stats on the size of the blogosphere. Today we ask you to take the statistics themselves with a pinch of salt.

Technorati’s statistics system is unstable as the image below shows – and that discrepancies of about 20% can be found in Technorati’s stats reporting. We monitored the ‘ranking‘ of PSFK.com over the last few days – where Technorati monitors the number of links by the number of blogs pointing at a site – and saw how wildly it fluctuates.

Last Friday there were 2,571 links from 706 blogs to PSFK.com but when we checked this morning, Technorati reported we only had 1,867 links from 593 blogs. Where had the 700 links gone we wondered? We didn’t have to wait long because by mid-morning they had returned – we had 2730 links from 736 blogs.

Phew – back to normal we thought. But no – at 4.54pm those links fell again, only to return later that evening.

Technorati has been operating for 5 years but it still doesn’t work properly at a fundamental level. If the statistics that the system provides the users varies so dramatically – what can be said of the validity of the statistics that David Sifry reported on?

Why don’t you try this at home too?

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