Do You Still Believe in Blog Ranks or Current Ranking Systems?

Do ranks really reflect what they should be?It is a fact that majority of the bloggers spent most of their valuable time on activities unrelated to publishing! Online publishing activities ideally should be restricted to content editing, proof reading, publishing, moderating and conversing with the readers. But the reality is that platform upgrades, ranks tracking, publicizing, commenting elsewhere etc consume a lot more time than the time utilized by actual writing and most bloggers go frenzy when stuff – like alexa, technorati, what have you – start getting on to their heads.

The topic for today is Blog Ranks and ranking systems! We have several of them around including the likes of Alexa, Technorati, Compete and various blog aggregator/directory ranking systems. But do they actually measure the merit of a blog based on quality of content or acceptance from its the readers? The answer is ‘NO’.

Why current blog ranking systems are farce?

The following are the metrics and parameters based on which most blog/website ranking systems work:

  • Traffic to the blog in terms of number of visits and pages per visit
  • Number of sites and blogs pointing to the particular blog being ranked
  • Number of readers via syndication mechanisms
  • Page ranks or priorities assigned by search engines
  • Visitors rating, votes and references
  • Number of social bookmarks done on the blog contents

Unfortunately most of these ranks can be either faked or improved by certain hacks. And most importantly the ranking systems are not really meant for blogs as such but more for generic websites.

What would be a perfect ranking system?

According to me, the following should be some of the criteria to measure the rank of a blog:

  • Number of returning visitors: This is an excellent measure of a blog’s acceptance. If your returning v/s new visitor ratio is very high, it means high level of acceptance. This is something I track on a regular basis via Google Analytics
  • Reader engagement: This can be measured based on the number of genuine comments per post – other than that of the author himself – and more importantly there has to be discussions between active readers themselves rather than dialogue between author and a reader. Probably this part cannot be easily automated by any ranking system
  • Original content: In fact, search engines like Google has enough intelligence with them to identify duplicate content. Now why can’t it be used in a way that duplicate contents identified are lowered in their ranks? Right now, though Google does that, it is not fully reliable. This can be made really transparent and used by blog ranking systems (Next project idea for Google?)
  • Genuine blog backlinks: Technorati did a good thing by upgrading their ranking system a couple of years ago. Unfortunately what they did not do is to identify genuine backlinks from blog content. The situation now is that even the Top commentator links, Blogroll links, Text link ads etc are counted in deciding the blog ranks. If this is restricted to links from content alone the rank can be more reliable when clubbed with the Technorati fans count. Of late, this is getting trickier as well with products like InLinks coming into the picture. But there could be some technical way around to solve this threat.
  • Age of the blog and blog frequency: New content creation frequency could be a measure of a blogger’s commitment to the blog as well as the amount of ideas he might have (when considered along with the duplicate busting mechanism). I guess, this should be given some weightage while considering the blog for ranking

Make Money Online, Blogging Tips, Internet Marketing, SEO/SEM Blog Ranking Systems

Recently Gyutae of Winning The Web came up with his new ranking system for MMO/Blogging/SEO/SEM/IM/SM blogs. I just wanted to appreciate his efforts here as he seems to be considering a few more aspects than typical ranking systems. However, I did not like him considering the links from his own site as one of the metrics.

Yet another ranking system for similar blogs has been Digital Product Reporter’s MMO list. This has been around for a while now (known as 45n5 Top 100 Blogs earlier)

These ranking systems do not cover blogs from all niches nor are they perfect yet. But I am glad to see some out of the box thinking happening from some bloggers to expose the limitations of some of the influential and popular ranking systems that all of us are crazy about.

Over to you

Do you have any thoughts on improving the existing blog ranking systems or coming up with an altogether new and reliable one? Which according to you is the best blog ranking systems that is more or less reliable and has wider acceptance at the moment?

Comments

  1. Domain Marvelous :

    The best measure of any blogs success can be attributed to only two activities: reader comments or RSS subscription. You can have a high visitor number and Alexa ranking by getting traffic from social bookmarking, but how many of these visitors actually read your articles or comment on your posts. Not many, I guess…

    If you get a high percentage of reader engagement, you can be assured that your posts are appreciated by your visitors.

  2. Your criteria for the perfect ranking system is great – really well thought out. I think reader engagement has got to be near the top for ranking a blog.

    You know how I feel about Page Rank – there is no transparency. It’s given and then it’s taken away.

    Kim Woodbridge’s last blog post… Stuff This in Your RSS – 12/02/08 – Eleblog

  3. WinningTheWebs list is a lot more comprehensive that the other top lists I have seen, and it’s a lot harder to climb it too 😀

    Tom – StandOutBlogger.com’s last blog post… John Chow: The First Blog Film Festival Guest Judge?

  4. Hey Ajith,
    Thanks for the mention. You list out some very good metrics for ranking – unfortunately a lot of those aren’t publicly available or difficult to obtain on a mass scale. If you can figure it out, I’d love to see your list!

    As for links from WTW counting in the IM Top Blogs algorithm, that’s only there to encourage interaction with me. It’s not weighted too much and shouldn’t really affect the ranks. But I did want to include it in there so that my own opinion of which blogs should rank counts for something (although barely). 😛

    Cheers!

  5. Nihar :

    Very good post. I agree with you on the points you covered for ranking the blogs.

  6. @DM, I absolutely agree with you… I didn’t want to touch the RSS count part mainly because feedburner can be still hacked to show thousands of feed readers. Not sure, if they fixed it yet.

    Another thing I was thinking of to include was the ‘reach’ which Alexa is incorporating but again, there seems to be ways to work around it. Reach of your blog is a real good metric to measure the success, I think.

    @Tom, haha… I can understand your feelings. I am shuttling between 230 and 236 for the past two three weeks. Need to somehow hack Gyutae’s algorithm 😆

    @Gyutae, you are welcome. And, I know for sure, that the ultimate and perfect ranking system cannot be easily implemented. But hey, appreciate on your attempt and I totally understand the little bit of weightage you are adding for the links from WTW.

    @NIhar, thank you very much buddy…

    Thanks everyone…

  7. Hi Ajith – I think reader engagement is the best measurement. It’s real and can’t be faked (unless a person seeds their own comment section). Whether we have one comment or 100, if what we wrote touches one life, we’ve done a great job.

    Barbara Swafford – Blogging Without A Blog’s last blog post… The Unseen Benefit of Commenting

  8. Mitch :

    I think it’s hard to come up with the perfect system, so one has to take all of the numbers that are available and do with them what they can. Not sure if you saw my November report, but I just put out the numbers I have and they can be compared to what occurred the month before.

    If anyone ever does come up with a metric on content, I think they’d become rich very quickly. However, even content can be suspect. If a person wrote 5,000 words on what they did with their dog on a beach one day is that really more valuable than a 700 word piece on making money on the stock market? And, if daily activity counts, then most teenage girls are going to lead the pack.

    So, we’re stuck with what’s out there, what’s truly measurable. It’ll have to do for now. But Winning The Web has done a nice job, I’d have to say. Obviously it’s not totally accurate, since you have to submit your blog for consideration, but at least it shows some pretty interesting metrics to compare with.

    Mitch’s last blog post… Still Losing Affiliates

  9. @Barbara, you are absolutely right! As long as you do justice to your readers and readers do it between themselves, what is transceived among everybody is what actually counts!

    @Mitch, 😆 I liked your example on the dog’s day out and blogging about the same. It’s amazing how some people can write pages together and talk hours about virtually nothing like CNN reporters.

    Yep, as you said…there’s no perfect system but comparison of numbers might help sometimes – at least our own progress month after month

  10. Tammy Warren :

    Reader engagement to me! That is how I measure myself. It is important to me to have readers connect and not just those that pass by.

    Tammy Warren’s last blog post… A Glance Into a Year of Blogging

  11. @Tammy, I completely agree…and you and your readers of ADayToShare are classic examples of how nicely engaged can a blogger and his/her readers be.

  12. qarla :

    great thought. Most bloggers today don’t blog for passion, they blog for money and for competition, sad reality.

    qarla’s last blog post… Jobert Sucaldito, Nagparinig, One True Love, hindi daw kumita

  13. @qarla, welcome to D$. You are right, at some point it’s not just about passion…to keep the passion high, we need some motivation as well and hence blog income is equally important. And that’s the only reason why ranks matter though they are not always the best metrics.

    If you were not monetizing does it really matter whether you have PR0 or PR10 😆

  14. Augie :

    I think it’s all about trend. Given there are so many different measuring sticks out there, I think you need to pick one or two and stick with them. Another good measure, as many have stated, is comments. Although, some articles are better for comments than others, so it’s not always a good measure.

    A great measure is how much money you’re making from the blog. If more money is coming in, then that’s good.

    It all depends on what your motivation is. Do you want traffic for traffic’s sake, or do you have other motivation. Money? Fame? Power? Bragging Rights?

  15. Joyce :

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Joyce

    Joyce’s last blog post… Migraine: Easy to Follow Remedies

  16. @Joyce, thanks for your visit and comment… Please visit again and also provide feedback on our posts.

    Cheers, Ajith

  17. Alexa ranking is such a bogus, ask for the server traffic

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