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Serious flaw in Technorati Link Stats




While updating several of the blogs in my Top 100 Technorati list, I noticed some discrepancies between the actual sites linking into a blog and the ones being computed by Technorati. This flaw allows a certain blog to get padded results in their “sites linking in” stats.

So, how can this flaw be replicated?

This can basically be done by creating a blog from an Add-On Domain and using all possible URL permutations as a separate claimed blog at Technorati.

This means that if you have a primary domain called www.myblog.com and you create an Add-On domain (e.g. mynewblog.com), you can access the new blog in 3 different URLs:

  • www.mynewblog.com – this is supposed to be the official blog URL for the Add-On domain.
  • http://mynewblog.myblog.com – since an add-on domain is basically also a sub-domain, you can access the blog in this format (note that mynewblog is the subdomain’s name).
  • www.myblog.com/mynewblog/ – since a sub-domain also creates a sub-folder inside your main website (where the new files will reside), you can access the add-on domain via this URL.

Now, if the blog owner of www.mynewblog.com creates a Technorati profile and claims his weblog using all 3 different URLs, you will end up with 3 separate Technorati accounts for just a single blog.

So what’s the catch? Whenever a link is created inside the mynewblog.com domain and points to any other blog, Technorati will index this and count it in its stats for the recipient of the link. However, since Technorati thinks all 3 blog URL permutations above are distinct and unique, it will count 3 sites linking in instead of just actually 1.

What if the blog links to itself? If the blog mynewblog.com links to himself on each and every new blog entry, the 2 other URLs (myblog.com/mynewblog/ and mynewblog.myblog.com) are actually also linking to it? Thus, the vicous cycle of virtually limitless sites linking in from just a single blog.

Now I could be wrong here but as an example of this glitch, you can visit the Technorati search results for this blog.

(Digg this story.)



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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9 Responses

  1. The Ca t says:

    yugs,
    retz e-mailed me to tell you that he has corrected the mistakes.

  2. bambit says:

    hi yugs, the bisayabloggers site has the problem in reverse if you can call it that. formerly hosted at blogspot (bisayabloggers.blogspot.com) it has now moved to blogsome.com, with a redirect setup in the blogspot account to take the reader to blogsome. furthermore the domain bisayabloggers.com has been setup to redirect to the blogsome account.

    the current technorati claim is on bisayabloggers.com, which will then show you that only 6 bloggers link to the site. that of course is not the case. it took a bit of explaining to show that technorati recognizes the URLs only and not where those URLs actually lead.

  3. yuga says:

    @ The Ca t : got the email.

    @ bambit : it’s been a common problem with those blogs that are constantly chnaging URLs. I checked the bisaya blog and looks like the lbogsome URL has the most links to it in Technorati.

  4. jhay says:

    i lost the authentic incoming links by technorati after upgrading to WP 2.0, don’t know why, or how it happened but it is still missing. those 4 links i had from my friends at the blogosphere.

    any ideas?

  5. vonjobi says:

    i’m not sure i understand why you posted this. is this a hint for us to start exploiting the flaw? =)

  6. yuga says:

    I notified David Sifry (head huncho of Technorati) about this so they do do something to fix it.

  7. Abbie says:

    Glad to hear it

  8. Abbey says:

    Thanks man, i agree

  9. Duane says:

    We stumbled over here from a different page and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to finding out about your web page for a second time.

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