Technorati is a poor source of blog ranking data …

Published by Eric T. Peterson on July 26, 2007 All posts from Eric T. Peterson

A few days ago my friend Avinash Kaushik wrote and asked me for my Feedburner subscriber numbers as an input into his very popular ranking of web analytics blogs. It gave me an opportunity to do something I’d meant to do for awhile — request that Avinash drop my site from his ranking system (which he agreed to do, thanks Avinash!)

I asked Avinash to drop me from the rankings for two reasons:

  1. I’m pretty well established as a web analytics blogger, having done this for a pretty long time. I started blogging about the topic while I was at JupiterResearch back in 2004 and have been writing basically the same blog at a variety of URLs continually since that time. I figure it’s far better for Avinash’s list to highlight some newer folks in the web analytics blogosphere — great writers like Ian Thomas, Gary Angel, Judah Phillips, and Aurelie Pols!
  2. Technorati, which Avinash uses as the basis for his ranking system, is an extremely poor data source for ranking weblogs.

While it may be a unique source of this type of data, Technorati provides a lousy basis for accurately ranking blogs and appears to be very easily fooled by anyone actively working to increase their Technorati ranking.

Why would I say such a thing, you ask? An excellent question, but I have what I think is a pretty good answer (especially if you’ve ever had any concerns about the quality of data you use in your analysis …)

First, and maybe this is something I’m just being dumb about and is easily corrected, if you’ve had a blog for any amount of time and have moved URLs for any reason, Technorati seems incapable of re-grouping URLs for a single blog. Have a look at the following:

As you can see here, based on a search for “web analytics” grouped using the “Blogs” tab in Technorati, my blog shows up as two distinct entries from two slightly different URLs. Both have slightly different levels of authority. When you drill down into “authority” which seems to provide at least partial basis for the ranking system Technorati uses, you’ll see slightly different results for each of these URLs:

The first blog URL lists “437 blog reactions to Web Analytics Demystified”

The second blog URL lists “461 blog reactions to Web Analytics Demystified”

What’s worse is that the exact same blog and the exact same content appear further down the same page of results:

Here the blog URL is www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog which was the original blog URL back when I was on the Blogger platform. Perhaps because this is the oldest URL Technorati has in the system, this URL has the greatest reaction:

Now, I wondered if perhaps each of these listings were de-duplicated and could perhaps be added up or something — no such luck it appears. There is a ton of duplication and thusly my blog is pretty much just broken up into three pieces which certainly must make it hard for anyone trying to assess the overall reaction to my writing over the past 3.5 years.

I asked around a bit to see if anyone knew why this happens, and Judah Phillips (who admits he’s been watching his Technorati ranking lately given his relative newness to the blogosphere) pointed me to this entry in the Technotati FAQ:

http://support.technorati.com/faq/topic/56

Just in case you don’t want to read the FAQ entry, I will summarize: You are more or less out of luck. According to the FAQ “we are unable transfer or combine links from different URLs at this time.” I suppose their answer makes sense, but it doesn’t make how Technorati treats blogs that have moved any more useful or appropriate.

Oh well.

The second problem I have with Technorati is that it is either not paying very close attention to where these “blog reactions” are coming from or the system is very easily gamed. Consider the blogs in the number 2, 4, and 5 slots when you search for “web analytics” blogs at Technorati:

There is my friend Avinash, Mr. Marshall Sponder from the Web Analytics Association and KnowMoreMedia, and the entire team at FutureNow, Inc. This is what you expect to see based on Avinash’s ranking system (although I think he might be excluding the guys from FutureNow, I’m not sure …) given that, according to Avinash:

“The evolution of the ranking system continues with a couple of tweaks to the ranking this time around. The primary determinant of the rank in the list below is still Technorati (click here).”

The problem arises when you start to examine the sites that make up the Authority calculation:

Here you can see that Avinash (who is widely loved, I love Avinash too!) has done a great job at generating reaction to his blog, getting 6,013 sites to link back to his content and having a Techorati “authority score” of 948. Very cool … that is until you start to examine the actual sites and blogs linking back to Avinash, at which point you notice something like this entry (#10 on the first page of results when I snapped this screenshot):

Hmmm, that is from Avinash’s own site. That’s odd, isn’t it, that Avinash’s own site would be included in his authority calculation? I thought so, so I quickly looked at the first ten pages of results:

What I found was that 44 percent of the top 50 sites listed as providing “blog reaction” to Occam’s Razor were Avinash’s own (albeit slightly different) URLs.

I’m not sure why that is, do you know?

I figured this might just be some strange anomaly so I took a look at the same thing for Marshall Sponder’s blog, WebMetricsGuru. Marshall didn’t seem to have the same problem, fortunately, but of the 52,152 reactions to Marshall’s blog contained in Technorati, it appears that the dramatic majority come from un-targeted links to his site from other KnowMoreMedia properties:

Similar to the problem with Avinash’s listing, 80 percent of the top 50 sites listed as providing blog reaction to WebMetricsGuru were from KnowMoreMedia. When I continued looking at the results, this percentage actually went up to 83 percent of the top 100 sites “reacting” to Marshall.

I might be thinking about this the wrong way, but that hardly seems like the kind of “reaction” most bloggers are looking for.

Well, at this point I had to look at the Eisenberg’s blog which is a little newer in the blogosphere. Here I saw the exact same problem I found in Avinash’s listing, 34% of the top 50 sites listed as providing blog reaction to GrokDotCom are from, yep, you guessed it, GrokDotCom.

I also noticed that in the GrokDotCom authority listings that some sites appeared again and again and again:

Again, I don’t know what’s going on here but as the basis of “blog popularity” this data seems pretty suspect to me.

Perhaps I’m naive, or perhaps I’m just plain confused here, but the Technorati ranking system doesn’t seem to provide very useful results based on the inconsistency I am describing. Maybe I just happened to stumble on three anomalies — other blogs listed in Avinash’s ranking don’t seem to have the same problems but some surely do. For what it’s worth, none of my three blogs (?!?) listed in Technorati appear to have the problem described above — maybe that’s what I’m doing wrong!

Now perhaps I am thinking about the authority calculation incorrectly. According to Technorati:

“Technorati Authority is the number of blogs linking to a website in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority the blog has.

It is important to note that we measure the number of blogs, rather than the number of links. So, if a blog links to your blog many times, it still only count as +1 toward your authority. Of course, new links mean the +1 will last another 180 days.”

This sounds good and kind of makes sense, except that you can see where KnowMoreMedia is kind of cheating Marshall by having all those completely irrelevant links back to his blog that artificially run up the number of “blog reactions” and likely his authority score.

Also, I kept finding examples of blogs that when I looked at the blogs linking to them, I kept finding the same problem described above — the blog being assessed linking back to itself. Here’s an example from one of the posts/pages on Avinash’s site that has an authority ranking of “12″:

You can’t see all of it but there are 13 reactions to Avinash’s post, and given Technorati’s ranking you would expect 12 different blogs, one of which would have two posts linking to the page, right? Wrong. What you get is five different blogs, two of which are Avinash’s own work (albeit in two different domains) and three of which (the “SEO, SEM, Social Media, web analytics” listings in the image above) appear to be the exact same content in different domains.

If you examine the URLs in the authority listings that come from Avinash’s site, you’ll see that they all have slightly different URLs. But clearly they are all from the exact same blog. If, based on the FAQ answer I gave above about why my blog is listed three times, this is how Technorati is calculating authority … essentially Technorati is saying that every distinct URL is a distinct blog.

Huh?

Seems like a pretty easy system to “game” to me, or one that is easily fooled and mostly useless. At this point I’m even more confused about Technorati’s ability to de-duplicate blogs as an input to their authority ranking.

Please don’t get me wrong, I think Avinash is brilliant for publishing a list of popular blogs (especially one that ranks his own site as #1, how amazing and magnificent is that!) I have learned to respect Marshall Sponder’s ability to write (and write, and write, and write) and I obviously get on well with Bryan and Jeffery Eisenberg (Bryan is one of Web Analytics Demystified, Inc.’s trusted advisors.) And I sincerely, sincerely hope that each of these fine gentlemen will see that this blog post is far from a criticism of their talents and passions.

But given that I’ve always worked with my clients to make sure they had the best data possible to serve as inputs for their analysis, something about the data reported by Technorati just doesn’t pass the “old smell test”.

Honestly, if anyone out there can help me understand what Technorati is doing and why a ranking system that is apparently so easily corrupted by self-reference and link farming is useful, I’m more than happy to hear from you! Feel free to email me directly or simply comment on this post. Until that time, I will view any ranking system based on Technorati data as quite suspect.

Perhaps you will as well …

I welcome your comments, criticisms, insights and feedback. If someone from Technorati wants to email or call me and explain what the heck I’m doing wrong and why everything I’ve written in this post is incorrect, I’ll gladly listen. And if the answer makes sense to me, I’ll even more gladly apologize for being so confused! If you think I’m carping, whining, or just being critical of Technorati’s data for no good reason, let me hear it! Frankly I sometimes worry that we don’t have enough engaged, thoughtful debate in the web analytics blogosphere …

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  • http://blog.instantcognition.com/ Clint

    Eric,
    thanks for writing this post! I’ve noticed the same look behavior in my own ranking and while I still watch technorati to see who is linking to me, I no longer trust the rankings.

    It seems to me that part of the problem is that when we link to our own posts, at least on wordpress, that is often treated as a trackback and so my reactions are full of inter-post links and category page links.

    My guess would be that technorati only cares about a valid trackback and doesn’t care about the originating domain for that trackback.

    In any case, thanks for describing the issue so eloquently, now I don’t have to try (and fail) ;~)

    Clint

  • http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com eric

    Clint: Yeah, perhaps I’m missing something, but boy howdy given the amount of time we spend in web analytics working to ensure some level of data quality and consistency … you know the rest.

    Oh, and thanks for calling the post “eloquent” … I suspect some will use other, less refined language at some point. ;-)

  • http://www.webanalystsinfo.com Lars

    You raise some very good concerns, Eric.

    Another thing about Technorati is that it often gets stuck, i.e. it won’t update your listings despite automatic and manual pings.

    I have personally had to email them repeatedly to get their indexing going again.

    You can see that many other people are experiencing the same problem:

    http://support.technorati.com/

    I don’t know what share of blogs we’re looking at, but it’s another issue to take into account.

  • http://www.liammorrison.com liam

    I have to agree with your analysis of Technorati Eric. I have not had any confidence in Technorati “rankings” for quite some time for similar reasons and do not pay any attention to it.

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  • http://www.douglaskarr.com Douglas Karr

    “A poor source of blog ranking data….” in comparison to what? What’s a better ranking engine?

    I don’t disagree with your findings – you’ve done some great research, but I’ve not found a better overall ranking engine outside of Technorati. As well, for an ‘honest’ blogger like me, watching my stats on Technorati provide me proof that I’m writing content that people find interesting – because they’re linking to me.

    If you do a comparison of Yahoo!, Live, and Google and which sites are linking to me – the numbers are all over the universe. With no alternative, I’ll stick with Technorati.

  • http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com eric

    Lars and Liam: Thanks for your feedback. I too saw a lot of people in Technorati support who were struggling with the system.

    Douglas: I don’t think Technorati has to be a poor source of data in comparison to any other engine. I’m just saying (as you clearly get) that it is very difficult for some people (me, Lars, Liam, Clint, others I am sure) to take a data source seriously when it is so clearly polluted.

    Used personally, as you describe, as a source of information regarding who is linking to your posts and what other bloggers find you interesing is a ** fantastic use ** of Technorati data. I say this because ** you ** are able to look at the authority results and determine which make sense and which seem strange (like the stuff I describe in the post.)

    But I think that when anyone tries to take Technorati’s data and ** without bothering to scrub it for accuracy ** and publishes a ranking list against it, well, I worry a little about the results. Perhaps the analogy is using web server log file data to describe the activity of ** real people ** without first removing the user agent/bot/spider/robot data.

    I noticed this morning that even Avinash Kaushik has recognized that Technorati has issues and has rolled in Feedburner numbers. Good move Avinash!

    Anyway, thanks for your insightful comment, Douglas!

  • http://dave-lucas.blogspot.com/ Dave Lucas

    There’s a MOVEMENT out there to fool Technorati! I have blogged about it here:

    http://dave-lucas.blogspot.com/2007/07/ethical-blogging.html

    Needless to say I’ve managed to piss off the bloggers who are doing this!

  • http://www.analyticsbhups.blogspot.com Bhupendra

    Great Post Eric. I simply love it.

    We need people who speak truth of this level and get the courage of criticizing something or someone very established, provided the concern is genuine. Thank you so much for this move.

    I too don’t have very good feeling about the Technorati rankings. It has many technical issues beside the logical issue that you pointed. It hangs often and sometimes does not update its content. Hope guys out there improve this in future.

    One irony I found is that, I wrote a blog entry “Google is no God” and the entry is not shown in Technorati. I am sure this is no filter to remove Google critic, but I am surprised to see his happen.
    You guys may check at my Technorati page and verify it. Here is my blog.

    http://www.analyticsbhups.blogspot.com

    Having said all this, I am not totally against using Technorati ranking and its data. For one reason we need to use and that is we have no alternatives. And I thank Avinash for including feed burner numbers to reduce the Technorati errors.

    Hope next year we see improvement in Technorati and also hope that Avinash comes with better way to rank. And that will be acceptable to you.

    Last of all, I would like to tell you that moving away is not the solution. Your concerns are good, but you could have given these comments after participating in Avinash’s rankings. We want ranking that is inclusive and without your participation it is incomplete. Please do that favor for us, the new comers and the blog readers, by taking part on such ranking, irrespective of the method used and the person/institution involved.

    Thanks,
    Bhupendra

  • http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com eric

    Bhupendra: Thanks for your feedback but I’m not sure I need to be thanked for speaking the truth or speaking critically of something already established. I’m a huge fan of not just “going with the flow” or “doing what we’ve always done” in my work and my life. I honestly believe that our industry is still very young and that there are many, many challenges we all still need to face. Because of this I’m more than happy to challenge people’s assumptions and stated strategies when I think something could be improved.

    I wish there was more of that in the web analytics blogosphere. There is some, but there could certainly be more.

    I also hope that Avinash fixes his ranking system, but I would never, ever ask anyone to change something ** they love ** just so it would be acceptable to me. I am but a voice in web analytics, one of many.

    Perhaps the Web Analytics Association will someday propose an alternative to Mr. Kaushik’s ranking system, or assume responsibility for the ranking as they have the Web Analytics Forum at Yahoo! Groups. Who knows?

    And I appreciate your request to participate in Avinash’s ranking system but again I will pass. For the same reason I cannot in good faith advise a client to use an inaccurate or polluted data source for their site analysis without at least making an attempt to cleanse and validate the data. Honestly, based on Avinash’s comment I’m not sure I would have even made the list this time around …

    ;-)

    Thank you for your readership and thoughtful feedback. It is much appreciated!

  • Steve

    Heh. No disagreement *at all* on the Technorati accuracy thesis.
    Seen it myself with technical articles I’ve “blogged”. Thousands of referrals from News and Aggregator sites in that sphere; even from related blogs – which in turn aren’t on Technorati’s list. And none of it noticed by Technorati.

    But. And it’s a big But. :-)

    My personal take is that it is almost irrelevant how inaccurate a system Avinash uses. Accuracy isn’t a goal in and of itself here. At least IMNSHO. ;-)
    I suspect he could get just as accurate a result by using numbers from /dev/random!

    Rather, and without knowing Avinash’s thinking, I suspect he has succeeded possibly beyond his dreams of success.

    That goal being the raising in profile of this industry as a whole. Go back to when Avinash first started blogging. Blogs existed, sure, but they were few.

    Now look at where we are all at! A huge number of really high quality blogs and growing all the time.
    Quite frankly I suspect all the people on that list, and those not on it, are aware how flawed the counting methodology is. But what we do see is the friendly rivalry to do better.

    And, again, IMNSHO:
    *THAT* is where Avinash has succeeded. And we are *all* the richer for it.

    Cheers!

  • http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com eric

    Steve: Hmmm, an interesting take on Avinash’s ranking system and the problems with Technorati. So you’re saying that he could have just made up a list of his favorite blogs, published it as a “Top 10 Ranking of Avinash’s favorite blogs” and had the same effect?

    Sounds kind of like producing a “Top Pages” report from your favorite pages, or the ones that your friends designed, as opposed to, you know, seeing what the data says about it.

    Good point about the explosion of web analytics blogs. That is too cool, I do agree!

    I do wonder how many folks are/were aware of the flaws in the Technorati data source. I only question your comment because I was pretty surprised to find what I documented … maybe everyone else had already come to the same conclusion and just weren’t saying anything. The email I’m getting doesn’t seem to support that, but maybe it’s the people who ** aren’t ** writing … ;-)

    Regardless, you make a good point and I very much appreciate your candor and honesty. Thanks a ton for the comment!

  • Steve

    “…had the same effect?”

    I suppose I am. :-)
    Still, having a methodology gives the … illusion(?) of rigour. Thus, regardless of how massive the errors, we accept the results as being “Good Enough(tm)” and hence act accordingly.

    Thus the explosion of new bloggers.
    End justifies the means? Perhaps in this case it does.

    I do agree with your analogy. :-)

    One additional view of Technorait’s ranking accuracy:
    A blog that has been running for ~ 4 years.
    * Has ~ 12,000 members – ie. local user accounts.
    * Each article attracts from 100-300 comments. Some up into the low thousands.
    * Is regularly quoted and referenced in the online media. And offline media. Let alone other blogs.
    * Has been frequently slashdotted and digg’ed. ~ 35 /.ings this year to date alone!
    * Typically a new article every day. Ranging from a few paragraphs to a sole article the size of Judah’s entire recent series on Bots.
    * Googling the name of the blog? (is very unique) 1.15 million results.
    * Has actually had to be moved several times: from shared to sole hardware and eventually to web farms just to cope with the traffic volumes.
    * Other writers, but ~ 98% of the articles are written by one person. ie. Not principally aggregators like engadget or boing-boing, Pretty much 100% original content and opinion.

    So, where is this site ranked by Technorati?

    Would you believe barely in the top 2000? ie Ever so slightly ahead of the top ranked WA blog.

    Just to help put things in perspective. :-)

    And it’s not that I’m bitter and twisted from only being in the top 300,000 either. ;-)
    Cheers!

  • Michael Feiner

    Hi Eric,

    I agree with you that accuracy is important.

    And thank you for pointing this deficiency in Tecnorati’s methodology. I don’t use Technorati very often but this debate has certainly made me more knowledgeable and aware.

    As for creating a blog ranking system, it seems to me, that reliance on feed subscriptions only wouldn’t necessary give us a true reflection of a blog’s “value” to the reader (I purposefully avoid using the words “influence” or “engagement” as they will surely land me in trouble).

    I think we should avoid a single metric ranking and work towards a more comprehensive measurement. It might be little more fluffy but hopefully better reflect value to readers. Am I making any sense?

    I suggest taking Avinash’s regression model and adding a few more parameters to it that would lower the weighting of the Tecnorati data.

    I like Dennis Mortensen’s suggestion of Content Relevance based on Google blog rankings.

    I suggest adding the number of comments left by readers. Wouldn’t it be a good measurement of interest and engagement with a blog in your opinion?

    Obviously, comments could be manipulated but I think this is more a concern with regards to hot political debate, less so in our WA world.

    It will also depend on how active the blogger is responding to readers’ comments and effectively inflating the number of comments.

    Actually is that a bad thing? If bloggers start responding even more often to comments than we (the readers) get more of a debate going – surely a good thing.

    It could provide the new bloggers with yet another incentive to engage further with their readers (though I suspect they will have enough motivation as it is) in order to keep up with the big guns (that have earned their place).

    I have posted a similar comment on Avinash’s blog. So if comments are to be included then I would be ranking-neutral.

    ;-)

    Thank you,
    Michael

  • http://www.webmetricsguru.com Marshall Sponder

    A lot to think about here and I wrote Eric directly about it and I’ll put in my two cents and suggest Avinash drop doing the Top 10 Web Analytics blogs because he can’t really do it fairly -given the tools he has to work with, today.

    RSS Feeds – good, but not enough – Technorati – not reliable, backlinks in general, not reliable.

    When we look at “push” activites like speaking and publishing a book that in turn, drive more traffic and subscribers to some bloggers like Avinash that do speak and publish widely – its not fair to compare WA blogs of writers who do those things with those that don’t.

    I don’t speak at conferences, I don’t publish books that are widely known – I don’t do many podcasts – all those things contribute to readers – but none of those things are about the blog – the blogs are just a place where people write about those things.

    If Avinash were going to continue doing the Top 10 WA blog list maybe he should “Segment” (to borrow a term from our field of Web Analytics) the list of Authors based on those who are doing more “push” work like Avinash and Eric, and those of us who don’t.

    That would be fairer, in my opinion.

    But that’s just my take and could change down the line.

  • http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com eric

    Michael: I’m glad my little post has shed some light on the problems involved with using Technorati to rank blogs. I like Dennis’s suggestion too but I guess Avinash does not (based on a comment he made to Judah Phillips) — oh well, it’s Avinash’s system and Avinash’s rules ;-)

    I like the comments idea too but here I agree with Kaushik — getting the comment count can be more complicated in some systems (like Blogger) and less complicates in others (like WordPress). Still, if there was a good/efficient way to get that data it would definitely be an excellent input for a ranking system (far better than Technorati IMHO …)

    One of the nicest things about this post is that a bunch of folks who have ** never commented ** have written in. I really like the conversation and am encouraged that people are willing to question my ideas in an open forum!

    Marshall: I’m not sure it’s necessarily fair to ask Avinash to drop his list just because the underlying data is not very good (at least some part of it).  He’s put a lot of work into it over the past year and gets a lot of benefit from the results in terms of linkbacks and his ranking in Technorati, etc.  Kind of like how the Yahoo! Group helped me build my reputation and traffic to http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com.

    Now, I eventually passed the Yahoo! Group over to the WAA since they brought objectivity to how the community is managed — something that I absolutely love — and the WAA moderators have done an amazing job ensuring that changes to the system are made using the consensus process (as opposed to me just making changes, which was awkward I admit!)

    Who knows, maybe Avinash will pass his “Top 10″ list over to the WAA someday …
    But I do get that folks like Avinash, Matt Belkin, me, Bryan Eisenberg, Jim Sterne, Jason Burby and others who are more or less “public figures” have some advantage in terms of getting people to learn about their blogs, subscribe, etc.  But I’m not sure necessarily that means that people like Avinash and I (and Matt if he would start writing again!) would need to be segmented out of the list.

    Consider the following:

    • Manoj Jasra writes for a variety of publications and that surely helps his blog traffic
    • Anil Batra (not on Avinash’s list) does the same, and is actively doing research on web analytics jobs that he could publish to increase his visibility
    • Gary Angel (not on Avinash’s list) writes for ADOTAS and has excellent visibility in the web analytics community
    • Ian Thomas doesn’t do much public speaking that I know of, but the recent “Gatineau” leak probably helped his blog traffic and subscriber-ship at least a little
    • Aurelie Pols does presentations around Europe on the subject of web analytics
    • The Google Analytics blogs (official and unofficial) benefit heavily from the topics and company they cover
    • Judah Phillips (one of Kaushik’s personal favorites!) speaks (eloquently) at events like Emetrics, Clickz, etc.

    I guess what I’m saying is that many of the bloggers in our community are doing a lot to increase their visibility, it’s not just Avinash, Bryan and I.  Perhaps the real challenge to folks wanting to be on Kaushik’s list, and people have commented this already, is to work harder to increase their personal visibility in the larger market which will in turn improve the popularity of their blogs regardless of how “popularity” is measured.

    What do you think?

    Thanks again to both of you for your thoughtful and honest comments!

  • David

    Eric,

    Great post.

    Have you been following the discussion regarding David Brain’s “Social Media Index” by any chance?
    http://www.sixtysecondview.com/?p=325

    It seems pretty flawed to me notwithstanding the fact that its purported goal (to measure “influence”) is next to impossible to quantify given the importance of offline factors (e.g. personal or professional reputation among many others).

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  • http://www.marianina.com Marianina Chaplin

    Hi Eric, Joining this debate a little late. Interesting that this kind of debate but I would have to agree with a few of the skeptics that is more about “reach” rather than “true influence”. I would be interested in an influence metric which would assess the number of comments on a site (even if these are inflated by the blog owner replying back to posts or trackbacks). I recently posted about this on my blog because for example MIT are doing some really interesting work using a tool to measure the true influence of social media site visitors – which if combined with feed subscriptions, number of comments on blog and technorati rankings (although again technorati is also fundamentally flawed – ie links on one’s own site can influence one own’s rankings) – at least this would provide a more accurate way of seeing this top 10 list. But we may be quite a far way off from actually getting these kind of metrics (until other blogging platforms like blogger allow easy viewing of total comments etc like wordpress).
    Some of my thoughts on true influence analysis are here in more detail if anyone is interested:
    http://marianina.com/blog/2007/07/02/social-networking-analysis-meets-web-analytics-meets-marketing-effectiveness/

  • http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com eric

    Marianina: It’s starting to feel like a good opportunity for some third party to step in and create a system that provides accurate and easy measurement for some core things, data like subscribers, unique in-bound referrals, comments per post, bookmarks per post, etc. It wouldn’t really be that hard to build IMHO, especially at the low volumes most bloggers actually have, and it could serve as a comparative standard for measuring the influence and popularity of blogs.

    What do you think?

    I take it you’d made the same observation about the Technorati flaw, huh? The dumb thing is that they should ** easily ** be able to correct that by simply looking at the domain (or subdomain in the case of Judah’s work at webanalyticsdemystified.com) and simply remove the blasted path information from the analysis. That way Kaushik would show up as http://www.kaushik.net and not a hundred different URLs, all inflating his measured authority.

    Oh well, what can you do.

    I love your post on Social Networking analysis, BTW. Nice work! Thanks a ton for writing and keeping the conversation going and let me know if you have free cycles to help build that new measurement tool ;-)

  • http://www.grokdotcom.com Bryan Eisenberg

    Eric and I discussed this post in some detail. I agree with everything he wrote. However, there is still one detail I have not really sen discussed and that is email subscriber list size. While Eric is correct that GrokDotCom is relatively new to being a blog it has been a site for our newsletter since 2001 and has had thousands of subscribers. Email and email forwarding is still part of social media. Just not as cool any more ;-)

  • http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com eric

    Bryan: Absolutely, I should have mentioned that and forgive me for forgetting!

    But I guess I’m not sure what email subscriber list size has to do with the flaws in Technorati? Or are you suggesting that one thing Avinash could add to his calculation is the number of email subscribers to the blog? If so, I think that is included in the FeedBurner count (provided that, like Avinash, you offer email subscription as an option.)

    You guys offer that too, right? Was that number in the value you gave Avinash for his ranking system? Or did you also decline to provide that data since GrokDotCom doesn’t satisfy his criteria for inclusion? I cannot remember why you’re not on his list … I doubt it’s because you don’t get the numbers!

    Anyway, thanks for the comment and thanks again for your feedback on the post!

  • http://www.webanalystsinfo.com Lars

    Well.. Technorati has now nuked my blog. It’s completely gone. Yet another reason to not trust them.

  • http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com eric

    Lars: Sorry to hear that! I am still having the same problems (not that I expected anything to change …) If you want to read an interesting take on this little debate, check out Gary Angel’s new piece titled “Never Send a Machine to do a Man’s Work”.

  • http://www.grokdotcom.com Bryan Eisenberg

    Eric,

    Avinash didn’t include GrokDotCom because he didn’t want to pigeon hole us as just a web analytics blog, because we cover analytics and every aspect of accountable marketing, w.o.m. copywriting, search, etc. Completely understood and appreciated for our part. Even though we can’t make the WA lists, search lists or even marketing lists. No one knows what we are ;-) But that is a whole different discussion. Our email list is not on feedburner but run through an email service provider that grabs 3 different templates (daily, weekly and monthly versions) and mail them for us. We also have 2 different feeds and our main one is not run through feedburner.

  • http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com eric

    Bryan: Wow, cool! I guess I don’t understand you guys not being on any web analytics list that Marshall Sponder is on? Marshall writes about all kinds of stuff — web measurement, art, New York, etc. — seems kinda arbitrary to include Sponder and exclude Grok to me.

    Thanks again for sharing the information! I don’t suppose you had a reaction to Gary’s post?

  • Pingback: Web Analytics Demystified » Blog Archive » Technorati is a machine, Gary Angel is a man …

  • http://www.webanalystsinfo.com Lars

    Manoj writes about a lot of different subjects too, especially search. I think GrokDotCom would qualify just as well. :)

  • http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com eric

    Lars: Yeah, I don’t understand the criteria for inclusion either. That and crappy data is part of why I asked Avinash to leave me out of his list. I like Grok, Marshall, and Manoj all three!

  • Pingback: Digging Into What it Takes to get Dugg up to the Digg Homepage| Zoli’s Blog

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  • http://www.jpsimbulan.com jessie

    you’re right in your post. i have noticed also that tehcnorati doesn’t update claimed blog’s posts even after 3 days of submission. i just wonder what causes this problem. i have two blogs claimed at technorati. one blog doesn’t update while the other updates in real-time.

 


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