Does Blog Rank Mean Anything: Seven Pros and Cons

techrank This week the Buzz Bin achieved a top 20,000 ranking in Technorati, a measurement based on how blogs link to you. The top 20k ranking has been a goal since March, when the blog changed its name from Diary of an Ad Man to the Buzz Bin and was ranked at 300K+. But what does the actual ranking mean?

Before we examine impact, several people have asked me how we did it. My thank you post tomorrow on the Buzz Bin will lay-out the exact steps taken to achieve this benchmark.

But more importantly for businesses, what does blog rank on Technorati or the Ad Age 150 mean in the grand scheme of things?

1) Not much: My old Managing Editor Andrea Knotts Bona at the now defunct CommunicationsNow oft reminded me you are only as good as your last story. It’s easy to rest on your laurels, but that is a sure fire way to lose daily traffic and RSS subs. A blog is only as good as its most recent contributions to its readership.

2) Links-to do can, but do not necessarily, denote a good blog. Links to are often acknowledgement of good content. They can also result from negative blog posts (not in this case, but you get the point). So if a blog is linked to because it is negative or controversial, its measurement is not an indicator of valuable content. Sift through the links over a period of time to ensure they are positive.

3) RSS subs and daily traffic are much better measurements of blog performance. All of these supposed rankings vary on benchmarks (for example links to the blog) that may or may not reflect actual performance. Performance is determined by readers (who, how many, are they the right people). Google Analytics (a conservative measurement) and FeedBurner are your friends.

4) Links-to do mean something from a search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint. The more blogs that link to you the better your search performance. For example, consider s.technorati. To qualify as most influential you need approximately 160-170 blogs linking to you. To me, this is the most value our Technorati “ranking” offers.

5) Perception is great. For example, our Technorati rank enables me to tell prospects in Washington that we have the highest ranked independent PR blog in DC (One local Ogilvy blog is higher). So it equals good PR.

6) Perception is great, but not real. For example, The Buzz Bin has a terrible Ad Age rank of 230+. That’s because the metrics used don’t reflect actual readership, rather Bloglines subs.

There are many, great active Bloglines readers, there are also many dormant ones (I have a dormant account) due to a competitive RSS marketplace. The Buzz Bin became popular after Bloglines lost readership, so Bloglines only represents 4-6 percent of our readership on a day-to-day basis. The Ad Age 150 perception is so bad, and is so distant from what I believe our actual marketplace ranking would be that I’ve asked Ad Age’s Charles Moran to de-list the Buzz Bin.

7) Something to benchmark. In the end, marketing folks are statistic junkies. We love measurement… And we love our rankings. So from a gamesmanship standpoint, why not?

What’s next for the Buzz Bin? We hope to break the top twenty on the Friendly Ghost’s PR blog rankings in the next four to six months. Wish us luck!