Jerame Davis

When people who shouldn't talk out their ass do so anyway

Filed By Jerame Davis | September 28, 2008 10:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Politics

It seems that some folks out there are still confused about blog ranking websites and how they work or even what their usefulness are. I don't know why people talk about things they don't really understand or make statements they've clearly just picked out of their asses, but I guess the right to be wrong and sound stupid is what freedom of speech is all about, right?

But I digress...

There are a few website and blog rankings that matter in the real world. The rest, are simply bullshit rankings or they just don't matter. Alexa, Google Page Rank, Technorati, and Quancast are four very important rankings.

While the accuracy or usefulness of the rankings these sites give have been questioned (aside from Quantcast, which actually does a good job of removing bias from their results) major advertisers and online marketing agencies use these four as guides to gauge how effective their ad buys will be.

After the jump, I'll take a look at the blog rankings that matter and parse what that really means.

One big misconception laid out elsewhere has been that you can purchase tools to game these rankings. There are services (not products) out there that will indeed game your Google rank or your Technorati rank in the short term, but these shenanigans are detectable and usually ends up getting all ranking points pulled from the offending site. Repeat or egregious offenders get banned from legitimate ranking systems when caught.

In other words, cheating just isn't worth it.

Now, there are free tools provided by these services that help them give more accurate rankings for your traffic. Alexa, Google, Technorati, and Quantcast all provide code you can embed in your site to help these services better gather data on your traffic and provide a more accurate ranking of that traffic as compared to other sites.

It happens that we use all of these free tools on Bilerico to collect data on how much traffic we're getting and how that compares to other sites out there. This is not gaming the system, it's the way the system works. In fact, it makes our rankings far more accurate than those who don't use them because our traffic is directly measured rather than estimated.

Folks, the rankings that matter are the rankings that get you paid. These four get you paid. Blognet News is not much more than a content aggregator. Their ranking formulas are secret and not a single ad agency uses their rankings for anything. The fact that their rankings vary so wildly from week to week says they don't have a realistic ranking system rather than a "what's hot at the moment" type ranking system.

So lets look at the top 3 sites, as ranked by the only legitimate service quoted when Advance Indiana did their search - Alexa.

Those sites:
Bilerico -
Kenn Gividen's blog -
Advance Indiana -

Lower numbers are better, with the exception of Google, where a higher page rank is better. These results were accurate as of 9/28/2008 10:00PM EDT.


* Technorati doesn't list, the preferred URL, for AI so this is the rank for Technorati listed 543 blog reactions (links back from other blogs) for, which compares to 4,401 for bilerico and 54 for

What does this all mean? Well, it means that, in general, bilerico gets more traffic, more search engine results, and more link backs from other blogs than any other blog in Indiana on a consistent basis. We worked really hard to make that happen and we're proud of the fact that we've done it without cheating and without buying our way in.

Hard work, good content, and making friends with your fellow bloggers is what makes these rankings go up. You can't maintain rankings or continue to increase those rankings, as we have at bilerico for the past year, if you're somehow gaming the system.

Thanks for reading.

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I think it's important to point out though that Gary was comparing his site and other local blogs. To truly compare local blogs, he should have used Bilerico-Indiana instead of the main Bilerico Project. At this point, it's just not a fair fight for him against the bigger parent site. By comparing Bilerico-Indiana, he still could have one a category or two. LOL

And note that he hand-picked the list of blogs with which he's comparing ratings. That's a subjective list limited to blogs he cares about. I'll bet if he threw Shakespeare's Sister in there, his numbers would change.

I noticed that too, Steph.

That's why I tried to point out that his list was rather off-base by including Bilerico Project rather than Bilerico-Indiana. B-IN is locally focused and tends to cover Indiana politics. Bilerico Project doesn't. Shakesville doesn't do local politics but favors national politics. And Shakes kicks our ass! If he's going to include TBP, he should include your blog and other sites that cover local politics occasionally while focusing on other topics.

BlogNetNews doesn't cover Shakes since she doesn't do local coverage and hasn't responded to my repeated requests to remove Bilerico Project and add Bilerico-Indiana instead. Before we went national, I could see the correlation with BNN, but now it just seems odd. I think the BNN list is where Gary got his list of blogs to highlight.

Concerning poor Gary Welsh: he's just starved for attention what with his reputation of being the David Duke of the Indiana blogosphere...