Today is the one year anniversary of my Webometric Thoughts blog! Unfortunately, despite having a Google anniversary logo commissioned especially for the event (way back in January), Google have decided to give preference to another Olympic logo today instead.
Over the last year I have managed to blog fairly regularly (this is my 286th post), and this has been reflected in a steady increase in traffic. Since I started using Google Analytics in October I have had 15,484 absolute unique visitors:
Most importantly, the number of unique visitors can be seen to be increasing month on month. This increase can also be seen in my Alexa ranking:
When checking my Alexa ranking back in September my ranking was 8,926,204, whilst in January it was 3,816,072. Whilst Alexa changed its ranking algorithm in April, today’s results show an improvement on the 1,607,649 I got then. Even Technorati shows an improvement, as I am now in the top half a million blogs!
So, what are the aims of Webometric Thoughts over the next year:
-Break into the top 100,000 web sites (according to Alexa)
-Break into the top 100,000 blogs (according to Technorati)
-Make the blog self-financing (since starting to use Google Ads in March I have earned $14.05…I need to earn approximately $50 a year).
-And, obviously, write higher quality posts.
Alexa is an often criticised ranking of web sites, with the criticism largely based on the use of the Alexa toolbar as a source of data. The use of the toolbar data skewed the ranking in favour of those sites visited by internet marketers and search engine optimisers, those who installed the toolbar, rather than the average user. Alexa’s big news, which everyone reported yesterday (e.g., Mashable, TechCrunch), is that they are now using additional data sources, although what they are is not very clear in their announcement.
Obviously with any change in the ranking system there will be winners and losers, and those who win are less likely to complain than those who lose. Personally I think the new Alexa rankings are a HUGE step forward. This conclusion is based solely on the increase in my own personal ranking. Back in January I noted that the Alexa ranking for Webometric Thoughts was 3,816,072. Today my Alexa ranking is 1,607,649 (1,389,032 for the 1 week average). Breaking into the top one million suddenly seems much easier.
The gauntlet has been firmly thrown down by Oh, what a tangled web we weave…, , or has it merely been picked up after I threw it down previously? Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to respond as my PhD thesis has been consuming my every waking moment, but I now have a couple of days respite. The blog readability test that showed my blog to be of a higher standard than the other webometric blogs at the end of November, now shows the Finnish webometrician to be of a higher standard.
Competition between blogs should always be welcomed. It forces us to up-our-game, critically analyse our posts, and the standards of our blog as a whole. Too often the top blogs start to coast, and those have built a following based on well written posts start to fill with pictures of their children’s birthday party. As webometricians, competition lets us look more critical at the various tools that are available for comparing blogs and web sites, especially those that don’t seem to be working in our favour. It is worth noting, however, that despite my lack of quality posts of late, I continue to lead webometrics.fi in a number of indicators:
Webometric Thoughts – 871,446
Oh, what a tangled web we weave – 2,910,025
webometrics.org.uk – 3,816,072
webometrics.fi – 11,904,548
I will take the competition as an opportunity to up my game, but will Oh, what a tangleed web we weave… ?
Despite knowing the meaninglessness of many the simple web metrics that can be calculated online and the inaccuracies that are inherent in the different tools available, for some reason I find that I am compelled to look at them.
The lack of inlinks or comments is not very surprising for a new blog. Many of the early posts are feeling one’s way, determining what sort of areas are going to be discussed; ‘finding one’s voice’ as the more pretenscious may say. Nonetheless there are already things of note for the addicted webometrician, albeit mostly about the tools themselves:
-Why does Blogpulse claim that I enthusiastically posted 16 posts on the 10th of September when looking at the blog I see I posted twice?
-Why has Technorati failed to index my post on Facebook metrics whilst seemingly indexing every other post?
And most importantly:
-Who is the lone Alexa user who visited three of my pages?
Although Alexa statistics are notoriously hit or miss, as relatively few web users have the software installed and once installed is often labelled spyware, it does allow comparisons between web sites. As an addicted webometrician the ability to compare my own blog with a fellow webometrician’s is too hard to turn down. Webometrics.fi:
Unfortunately I lose this time, but it is still early days….and surely this is the smallest margin possible?