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9 Mar 2008

Ranking blogs according to blog links is useless

filed under: journal  :: blogging

I recently got an email from yet another site that wants to rank blogs. Yawn.

Their pitch went something like this: "We rank blogs according to how many incoming links they have from other blogs. We do not count sidebar links."

In other words, yet another thing that attempts to rank how much inner-blog circle crosslinking/circle jerking there is.

This kind of thing totally ignores the fact that a blog is not necessarily a platform for inner-blog conversation anymore, if it was at all in the first place. Blog programs nowadays are used for easy publishing and updating of any kind of web site.

If it is important to rank blogs somehow, I think that things like plain old traffic numbers, and perhaps RSS subscription numbers, are a far more accurate measure.

(For what it's worth, I don't often link to other food blogs on my food blogs, because I'm way too occupied with writing my own stuff. When I do, it's because I'm actually really interested in what they wrote, or it's very relevant to what I wrote.)

This kind of ranking-by-circle-jerk-rates thinking also encourages the type of behavior that was skewered so neatly by John Scalzi a few months ago: newer bloggers attempting to get attention by spattering more established sites with often meaningless comments, or just doing a lot of ass kissing of 'A-List Bloggers'.

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