Technorati's totally broken user experience

I have been using Technorati for a long time as many of my friends do to track incoming links to majordojo. But recently I have grown increasingly frustrated with their service - so much so that I am a breath away from giving up on it completely.

What has been bothering me lately is not the fact that their search results are flaky at best, but a single and very poor user experience I routinely and consistently run up against. The interaction works like this:

  1. I have a bookmark to a Technorati search results page.
  2. When I click on this bookmark I should be taken to a page that shows me recent incoming links to
  3. About 33% of the time I get my desired results.
  4. The other 66% of the time I actually get nothing.

The fact that I get nothing is actually not what bothers me. I have actually grown accustomed to the on-again-off-again search results. What bothers me is how they deal with a failed search.

Let's observe. The following screenshot is what should appear when I click on the following URL:


But more often then not, this is what appears:


Look carefully at the URL in my browser. When Technorati fails to find search results for my web site, they issue a hard redirect to my browser rewriting the URL found in my location bar. Not only does this obliterate the evidence that I even tied to submit a search, but it also  prevents me from hitting Control-R in order to refresh the screen and re-issue the query so that I can try again to view the results I want. Furthermore, there is nothing that tells me that zero search results were found and nothing that tells me that if I try to search again I may actually get results!

Like I said, I don't mind getting zero search results, believe it or not, but come on Technorati,  can you at the very least handle your abysmal failure with a little grace? Isn't there some foolish message about the Technorati monster escaping that you can show me? Throw me a bone here people.

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Hi Byrne, Thank you so much for raising this issue! You're right on the money, the failure conditions in our applications have to be handled more helpfully and I'm really sorry you're experiencing this double frustration. I've got the alarm raised within Technorati's web team. best, -Ian Technorati

Thank you so much for responding so quickly and personally. I sincerely appreciate it.

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