How does your blog stack up against all the other blogs in the universe? And how does your site rank against every other site online? Here are a couple ways to check whether your blog is hot or not.
I should say now that I don’t want you to get too hung up on any of the things you find while you monitor yourself online. Ranks are fun to track, but they are not the most important thing, and the fact is most craft blogs will only rank so high overall on the internet. Crafting is a popular niche, but it’s not as popular as say, celebrity gossip, or even fashion. That being said, it’s fun to find out what your rank is.
Technorati: What’s Your Blog Rank?
Technorati is one of the most recognized blog-ranking and measuring sites. The reason it’s cool is because it ONLY deals with blogs, not with other types of sites, and so is more equipped to give stats on blogs (contrast to a site like Alexa, which ranks all sites, not just blogs).
All you can really do on Technorati is check to see how you are ranked and how much “authority” you have. The ranking and authority measurements fluctuate frequently, and take a bunch of factors into account. Rank is simply a calculation of the most popular blogs overall, and separate lists are maintained in topical categories such as Home, Living or Arts.
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.
What should you do with Technorati?
Just three things. One, check your rank and authority just for fun. Two, register for the site and “claim” your sites (you can then add keywords, and I don’t have any evidence, but I think claiming your site could increase your influence). Three, check for “influential reactions,” which are other sites that have linked to yours.
I guess if you want, you could put your Technorati rank somewhere on your site, like if you have a “Press” or bragging page, or add it to a stats tracking spreadsheet. You do have one of those, right?
Alexa: What’s Your Site Rank?
Alexa is one of the sites you want to check to find out how you compare to every other site on the internet. It tracks all sites, sort of like the Nielsen Ratings track the popularity of TV shows. And just like the Nielsen Ratings, Alexa ratings take measurements of the movements of a small number of people online and project those numbers to the whole internet. It is also possible to install tracking code on your site to allow Alexa to more accurately measure your rank.
Some people say that if you install the Alexa toolbar on your browser (and thus let Alexa use your computer browsing for its data collection), you will help your own Alexa rating (and those of the sites you visit).
What should you do with Alexa?
- Keep tabs on your Alexa rank, just for fun. If you have a stat-tracking spreadsheet, track your rank whenever you update other stats.
- Share your rank: Public Relations people and others who want to gauge if you are worth working with might ask you for your Alexa rating.
- Register and claim your site: As with Technorati, claiming your site might positively affect your rank.
- Install Alexa’s tracking code on your site: that way, your Alexa rank is more accurate.
- Use Alexa’s tools: Alexa provides a lot of data about the types of people who visit your site, as well as other comparable sites. You can also compare your site directly to another site.
Quantcast: Not Another Site Rank Site
Yes, there’s another big site ranking site, and that is Quantcast. It’s a good idea to know your Quantcast score because this is another stat that people will sometimes ask you for. It’s comparable to Alexa, but gives you slightly more detailed information in some areas.
What Should You Do with Quantcast?
- Install the Quantcast code on your site: Yup, this is another tool that you should install the code for. If your site is small to medium-sized, you pretty much have to have the code installed to get any good info.
- Get great info about your readers (see chart above):
I really like the US Demographics chart provided by Quantcast (you have to install the Alexa toolbar to get similar information from Alexa). This chart can help you really zero in on the people who are reading your site, which helps when you want to promote your site to possible sponsors or PR people. In the image above, I can see that my site is more popular with women from ages 18-49, a large number of them have children, and make an income from $30k-$100k a year, with more than average having completed college and/or grad school.
And even if you’re not good at reading into the demographics, Quantcast gives you a handy little summary of what defines your readers.
- Here’s an article with 5 Ways to Use Quantcast at Adventures in Internet Marketing.
I know I’m giving you a bunch of different ways to monitor yourself, and it might see overwhelming. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do all of them, or if you do all of them, just check them every so often. They’re tools, not shackles!
That should get you started on finding out your site’s rank. Between these three sites, you’ll be able to find out if your site is hot or not (and who thinks it’s hot!) With the information you gather, you will be better equipped to reach out to potential sponsors and PR opportunities.
And remember, no matter what your rank is, your site IS hot!
photo: amiefedora – licensed via flickr creative commons
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