Rank is something we bloggers take very seriously. The problem is, nobody seems to be that good at measuring it — not yet, anyway.
For the past couple years, bloggers have loosely relied on Technorati to do the job, with blogs ranked according to their number of incoming links from unique blogs. For some bloggers, though, that may change now that Techmeme has announced a new feature, Techmeme Leaderboard, that ranks blogs according to how often they appear on, well, Techmeme.
Over at TechCrunch (no relation), Michael Arrington has the scoop:
To be exact, top blogs will be ranked on presence – “the percentage of headline space a source occupies over the 30-day period.” Discussion links are not taken into consideration – only full headlines are counted.
I think this is a much better way of ranking the very top blogs than the Technorati approach. Technorati has deep flaws, for reasons stated above. Techmeme, by contrast, has zero spam and tends to mirror what the tech blogosphere is writing about perfectly.
That may be true, but keep in mind that a Techmeme rank will have limited value outside of the tech world. And how about a few other pros and cons for the two sites…
Pros: All blogs treated equally, regardless of focus; rank determined by incoming links; current go-to source for comparing blog popularity (i.e., let’s you know where you stand vis-a-vis other blogs).
Cons: All blogs treated equally, regardless of focus; links from spam blogs and pay-to-link services can distort a blog’s true rank; buggy, and often slow to update.
Pros: Niche focus; real-time indicator of tech/business news stories; threads popular stories, linking to blogs that discuss the primary news source.
Cons: Bias toward tech news; encourages copycat/echo chamber-style blogging (e.g., right now I’m blogging about something a lot of other bloggers have covered); tends to reward popularity over analysis.
Back in August, when a glitch caused Technorati to bestow upon us the coveted #1 spot, I suggested to fellow bloggers that, if rank meant everything…
Would content by any other number smell as sweet?
Why does a blog’s rank actually matter? Well, there are a few answers. Rank matters to anyone selling ad space on their blog. It’s also directionally interesting since it helps bloggers get a sense of growth. Oh, and there’s that whole “human nature” thing: We’ve been grunting over who’s the biggest and baddest since our days as lesser, knuckle-dragging hominids — which, as geological time goes, wasn’t too long ago.
Any bloggers, tech or otherwise, like to share their thoughts?
Any Techmeme fans ever use Today.GrokDotCom to scoop stories? We do.