During my conversation with Jeremiah Owyang at the bloggers dinner last Thursday, he gave me some great insights. When we first met, I mentioned my Technorati score and how I gained the Authority I have in relatively short period of time, he responded back, it doesn’t really matter. I thought I had a major achievement, but he took the wind out of my sales. To help me get past this stumbling block he gave me some valuable advice, the success of your blog is not just measured using a single metric or tool.
Lauryn Hill mentions ‘That Thing’ in her song – gratuitous music video inserted, roughly associated with the point of the blog post, because the song came to mind as I was writing the post.
YouTube – Lauryn Hill Doo Wop (That Thing)
It is not just ’That Thing’ or any of the following individual metrics:
It is how you are doing on a combination of the above tools or other stat counters. The reason you want a combination of the above tools, is that some of the above systems can be gamed:
Technorati can be gamed by creating a high profile post that everyone links to, commonly called link bait. A blogger will post such an outrageous point of view, that everyone links to the post for purposes of debate. Another way to game Technorati is to associate yourself to a meme, and using link trades to artificially boost your authority. Another method is to set each post of your blog as an individual blog (can only be done on certain systems) and then interlink your own posts.
I think that Alexa is a pretty good tool, but my understanding is that Alexa only counts browser hits that have the Alexa toolbar installed. Consider the following scenario. Two Blogs – blog one has 250 unique visitors a day, blog two has 1,000 visitors a day. Now of the 250 visitors from blog one, let’s say that 200 have the Alexa toolbar installed. Of the 1,000 visitors for blog two, only 150 visitors have the Alexa toolbar installed. My understanding of my scenario is that blog one will actually have a higher Alexa rating than blog two. This does not seem like an accurate form of measurement to me.
Those are just a couple of examples of how the tools can be gamed.
Instead of evaluating your blog using a single tool, you should evaluate your system using a combination of the tools, to get an idea of the overall effectiveness of your blog. While evaluating this snapshot you will also need to compare this information to the goals of your blog to ensure that you are meeting the goals you set for yourself, if any. Another metric you might want to look at is growth over time, or comments. At the end of the day you will be the one who determines the success of your blog.
I was recently introduced to Website Grader, by Opal: Vegan Momma. Website Grader is a tool that evaluates multiple website metrics to come up with a score out of 100% about the marketing effectiveness of a blog. Now this isn’t a perfect identifier either, because it only determines the marketing effectiveness of your blog. At this point I don’t have 3 months blogging under my belt, so I don’t even have a Google Page Rank rating, yet.
So you will need to set goals, and then determine which tools you are going to use to measure your levels of success. I am definitely interested to hear your blogging goals, and what other tools or systems you use to measure the success of your blog.