GrabPERF: Comparing Technorati Blog and Tag Search

Normally when I discuss the performance of a page I am measuring using GrabPERF, it’s either good news (“you just got 5 times faster!”) or bad news (“your page hasn’t loaded in 6 months; you still there?”).
Today, something a little different: a question. What’s the question?

Why is the performance of a Technorati Blog (aka Traditional) Search so different from a Technorati Tag Search?

For those of you who have been around for a while, you know that Technorati allows you to search for results based on a Traditional search engine methodology, which is date-ranked, most recent first. It also provides a way to search through the user-defined tags that are appended to posts, or listed as category titles.
The issue that I have been seeing from my measurements is that Tag Searching is performance substantially worse than Traditional Search.


TRADITIONAL SEARCH



TAG SEARCH

What I need to understand from the Technorati team is the particular technical challenges that differentiate Traditional v. Tag Searching, because the difference in performance is astonishing.
And then there is the success rate of the Tag Search.


TECHNORATI TAG SEARCH SUCCESS RATE

When I examine the data, almost all of the errors on the Tag Search measurement are Operation Timeouts. I have set the GrabPERF Agent to time out when no response has come back for the server in 60 seconds. So, effectively 15% of the Tag Searches do not return data to the client in 60 seconds.
So, while the Traditional Search has been tuned and optimized, there appears to be much work left to make the Tag Search an effective and useful tool.


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