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Blog Ranking Systems; Do They Mean Anything?

Posted by on Aug 5, 2010

Suffice it to say, I’ve been writing a lot lately about influence, especially influence online. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that there are ways of tracking how one’s blog is working online. Now that I think about it, I’m not so sure that most of these are all that effective.

I’m not sure if y’all remember my post talking about Technorati’s new ranking system some time ago. Before they made the change, you knew that if you could get your blog into the top 100,000 that you were doing pretty well. Then they changed it and, at least for me, it became impossible to know what was good. However, at the time they made the change, this blog was ranked at 491, and since the high was 993, I figured I was at least in the top half. It’s been awhile since I took a look at Technorati, and where am I now? I’m at 128; what the hey?

I don’t know how Technorati works, but I can’t believe this blog has fallen in influence that far. A look at my Analytics stats says my traffic has drastically increased over the last six months, and my ranking fell? My Alexa rank has improved and my ranking fell? Now, comments have stayed the same, but do comments actually drive Technorati that much?

It’s reminded me of other blog ranking systems that at one time or another I’ve belonged to, including Sire’s Cool Blog Links, where out of not so many sites I’m ranked down in 6th place. What’s even weirder is that his blog is ranked 10th on that site, and his Alexa ranking is 30,000 points better than mine. Strange, right?

There have been other blog ranking sites that I’ve joined and unjoined over the years, mainly because the rankings seemed, well, arbitrary. On one I was in the top 50 out of 250 while in another I was sitting around 315 out of 400, and one other I was around 275 out of 500. What did any of them mean? I didn’t have a clue.

There’s also always the question as to whether the measure of a blog is the amount of comments it gets. I even debated another blogger through my blog when he stated he believed that people’s content stank if they weren’t getting a lot of comments. I love comments, as I feel it means I’ve connected with someone on a particular post, but Seth Godin gets people quoting him all the time and he doesn’t even allow comments; I’m thinking that’s proof that comments aren’t a measure of influence at all.

I believe blog ranking systems are fairly arbitrary in what they mean to bloggers in general. If there was one standard that all the systems agreed with, then it might mean something. I get locked into Alexa because it’s not a blog ranking, but a website ranking, and at least it gives you a real tool of comparison to use. Don’t get caught up in blog ranking systems as a true measure; use them for entertainment purposes only, and you won’t get caught up trying to rank for things you can’t control.

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I think Blog Ranking systems are pretty fair. It depends what and how exactly it qualify blogs, but for sure this may mean more traffic and appearance on page with higher PR which is great for SEO.

August 6th, 2010 | 9:18 AM

Well Kyle, since I’m one who doesn’t believe in PR at all (heck, even Google is trying to get people to start forgetting about PR), I’m not sure that helps at all. I will agree about the SEO benefits, but in general, I don’t think it’s the blog ranking systems that are helping us determine what we might do to be better.

August 6th, 2010 | 11:18 AM

I’ve never used any of them to be perfectly honest.

It’s like weighing myself with a scale- don’t do it very often or I would probably get discouraged :-}

August 6th, 2010 | 10:48 AM

I think I agree with that in a way, Carolee. Sometimes it’s fun, but there are blogs I’ve seen ranked ahead of mine that I say “you’ve got to be kidding”. Then again, it’s what people like, right?

August 6th, 2010 | 11:18 AM
Dean Saliba:

Ranking systems (including PR) have never really been that important to me.

But because I make the majority of my income from writing sponsored posts I have to pretend I care because the advertisers hold these ranking incredibly highly.

August 6th, 2010 | 11:49 AM

That they do, Dean, and sometimes I get that you have to go where the money is. I don’t write any sponsored posts.

August 6th, 2010 | 1:08 PM

Mitch, I like this post

I don’t pay too much attention to site ranking. With my first real blog I was ranked at a PR 5. I had no idea what PR 5 was since I didn’t pay attention to it’s ranking, once I got familiar with SEO it still didn’t matter to myself.

You’re right about Google saying we shouldn’t pay so much attention to site ranking. Matt Cutts (head of Google webspam) talks about this a few times on his blog.

August 7th, 2010 | 7:49 AM

Good to see you here, Moondancer. Actually, PR is a nice indication of how you might have set up your inbound links as much as external links, but in the overall pantheon of things it means nothing except to those people who want to purchase space on your site. Then it’s worth something to you. 🙂

August 7th, 2010 | 3:31 PM

I would say dont get caught up but use it as a kind of yardstick. I have seen my blog go up over 100,000 places just on the back on of one Blog post I wrote last week so not sure

August 8th, 2010 | 6:32 AM

True, getting too caught up in this or anything else can distract you from the more important things.

August 8th, 2010 | 8:31 AM