Monday, 8 August 2011

Blog Ranking (part 5) - Technorati & Alexa


It's been a while since I've been writing about blog ranking. It was something I tried to understand more a year ago, when The web thought was newly born. Now, it is still a general interest for me - web site ranking and positioning is always important for a web developer. In any case, I would like to share some thoughts specifically about blog ranking and two tools which are often cited as very important and valuable: Technorati and Alexa.

Technorati can be defined as a Blog Directory. You can submit your blog for free and - apparently - a very complex algorithm will calculate your blog authority. As the site is stating:
"Technorati Authority measures a site's standing & influence in the blogosphere.
The aforementioned complex algorithm is described in the same page:
"Authority is calculated based on a site’s linking behavior, categorization and other associated data over a short, finite period of time. A site’s authority may rapidly rise and fall depending on what the blogosphere is discussing at the moment, and how often a site produces content being referenced by other sites."
Which obviously is not really saying how it works - and that's understandable. But, as you may guess, it means that your authority will increase the moment your content is shared, discussed and generally spread all over the web.
Now, how a new blog can achieve that? It's the old story: make the blogs with high authority link to yours, let them re-blog your articles or publish original content written by you (with a link to your site).
Ah, as if that was simple!
In the first places of Technorati blog rank, specifically for the Technology section, there are well known blogs: Mashable!, TechCrunch, Engadget and The Official Google Blog.
According to many blog promotion experts, we should go to those sites, and in some way let them "talk" about our blog. We could do it by posting comments with links, ask them to re-blog our articles or propose ourselves as writers.
Simple, isn't it?

For the first solution, I believe it's not that difficult, but let me immediately reassure you, it won't give you much results. The second and third options are almost impossible to follow - at least in my experience.

That leads me to explain what happened to The web thought authority in a year or so.
Just after submitting the blog to Technorati, the authority was miserable but soon started to move. I decided to store everyday authority into an Excel sheet and create a graph, just to check how that was going. For fun.

The web thought authority is increasing ... slowly ... very slowly. Because I normally publish articles every two days, authority is moving accordingly; slowly increasing, but not according to - for example - site page views and visits.
There's probably no way: The web thought will never reach a high ranking position on Technorati. And I suspect, it would be difficult for any other blog to replace the top ranking ones. And not even reach higher position, or be near the top positions.
That's because, if you base your ranking just on good content, it is not enough. Which is a shame, because as long as your articles are read and in some way give something to your reader, the main goal of your blog is fairly achieved.

Secondly, because everybody tend to "use" the top ranking blogs (commenting, linking and trying to be guest writers), those blogs are always stronger than our blogs. They have plenty of articles because they have lots of guest posting requests. They have always people commenting (sometimes just to say "Hey I'm here!") and sites linking to their articles. Our effort to have a better authority ends up strengthening the top ranking blogs.

Alexa is another story. You can submit your web site to Alexa which will rank it for traffic. There are different tools on Alexa, but basically everything is working through its toolbar. You should install the Alexa toolbar in your browser and use it to search the web. When people find and visit your blog through the Alexa toolbar, the blog traffic rank increases. Very simple.
Alexa is different from Technorati. While the latter is ranking blogs, Alexa is ranking all kind of sites. The top ranked sites for the computer/internet category are definitely monsters: Google, Facebook, YouTube and Yahoo.

Can we beat them? Nobody is thinking that. Nobody - with a brain - would ever think of being at that level.

Again, the ranking is not really helping us and trying to change our blog positioning needs a lot of work for small results.

Just to be clear, I haven't installed the Alexa toolbar. The web thought is stable at a very low rank (the number expressing the rank is very high - something like 1,500,000 -  while Google, for example, has 1).
End of story.

A conclusion
The web thought had the Alexa badge on the home page. I decided to remove it.
I still check Technorati, but it really doesn't matter to me as much as it meant in the past.

I believe that good content pays much more. I can see that people come back to The web thought, and sometimes I receive comments (and I really appreciate them).
At the same time I sometimes drop a comment on other blogs or sites. I do it just when I really have to say something or when I want the author to know I wrote something about his/her article.

I don't think Technorati or Alexa will ever help me to increase traffic to The web thought. While Google webmaster tool and sitemap submission are really doing their job (but that's another story).

I wrote about my experience. Maybe you think about it differently. Maybe the story for you has been another.
If you had other experiences, please share them by commenting this article!

0 thoughts:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I apologize if I don't publish comments immediately.

However, I do answer to all the comments.