Saturday, 13 August, 2005

Ranking the blogosphere with The Truth Laid Bare

The blogosphere (it's an ugly coinage, but nobody asked me) is big.  Huge.  So big that I suspect nobody really knows its full extent.  Technorati, an acknowledged leading aggregator site, says that it is currently tracking about 15 million blogs.  Last year it was tracking 3.5 million.  Last year in How Big is the Blogosphere, I posted links to some of the other aggregators.  A new one since then is Rojo, another RSS aggregator and online community.  There are dozens more.

All of the blog community sites claim to have the most recent or most pertinent information indexed.  You couldn't prove it by me.  For example, if I search Technorati for "jim mischel," I get 19 results.  Not one of them points to my blog.  And I've submitted my blog to Technorati many times.  Heck, I even had that silly Technorati logo on my page for six months.  If I search for "mischel", three or four of my blog entries from last year show up on the last page of 150 different links.  Searching for "duntemann" returns 44 entries, none of which point to Jeff Duntemann's site.  I've seen similar results on Feedster,, and others.  These guys might be doing a decent job of indexing the A-list blogs, but they're crap when it comes to anything else.  I'd be a little more understanding if a Google search for "mischel" didn't return my site on the first page of results.

Recently I ran across The Truth Laid Bare (TTLB), which is widely regarded as the definitive blog ranking system.  I'm not sure yet exactly how it works, but it appears to use a combination of "pings" from other Web sites, and maybe some text scanning to track which blogs are getting hit how often, and who is linking to whom.  TTLB rates blogs in the ecosystem, using such names as Insignificant Microbe, Crawly Amphibians, Large Mammals, and Higher Beings.  I thought I'd see about my ranking, so I've submitted my blog and have included an indicator of my status over on the left navigation pane.  As of this writing I'm an Insignificant Microbe.

If you take a look at TTLB's ecotraffic page, you'll get an idea of how blog traffic is concentrated.  Fewer than 10 of the tracked sites garner more than 100,000 visits per day.  Only the top 50 get more than 10,000 daily visits.  Only 450 get around 1,000 visits per day and fewer than 2,500 of the tracked blogs get even 100 visits per day.  Blog traffic is highly concentrated towards the A-list blogs, most of which appear to be (gag!) political commentary.

One of the reasons I'm trying this experiment is to see how many actual blog page views I get.  My RSS feed counts for almost one half of the daily visits to the site.  I want to see how many people are actually viewing my blog pages.  I guess we'll find out if my TTLB Ecosystem ranking increases to Multicellular Microorganism.