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?