The following was originally for a private post to the b5media blogging group, but it was so good I’ve gotten permission to print it here. John Evans, who writes at Syntagma, as well as the Windows Vista Weblog and the unauthorized Microsoft Weblog, has this to say on Technorati Tags.
Technorati tags are a newish way of pre-classifying posts on a blog, in much the same way that del.icio-us and other “folksonomy” operations work. But they also have a secondary function in that they summon Technorati’s spiders to your site to index the full post. This two-step, Ping and Go process is largely responsible for the perceived delays in the system.
Other search engines, including Google Blog Search, but with the possible exception of BlogPulse, simply monitor RSS feeds and index what they find, usually a partial feed in the case of commercial blogs. This one-step process allows them to be much quicker than poor old Technorati.
In my experience, it does pay to ping Technorati. When Windows Vista blog started out on Blogger, I used to ping Pingomatic manually after each post, and the operation would result in a “ping received” message from Technorati and other search engines.
In WordPress, b5’s chosen platform, Pingomatic is enabled in the “Write Page” by default. You’ll see a tick in the box next to “Allow Pings”. So Pingomatic, and thus Technorati, will be alerted after each post. The Categories you’ve clicked on in the Write process will be the tags sent. So, if you want specific tags, just create new categories.
An example is that in my Windows Vista blog, I’ve got both “Windows Vista” and “WindowsVista” categories. Crazy? No, just that David Berlind, who writes Microsoft Vistulations blog for CNET, has suggested that we Vista correspondents should meet up at this Technorati tag.
I get a lot of Technorati referrals. Whatever the current mindset in the blogosphere, it’s still worth nursing the old dear. Like the rest of us, she gives back what she receives. In her case, a bit more on top.