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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Blogroll: How Popular Is Your Blog?

According to Coturnix, and others, this weekend is the annual Blogroll Amnesty Day. The idea is to update your blogroll by adding blogs that have less traffic than your own blog.

I decided it would be a good time to update my blogroll but most of the blogs I added are more popular than Sandwalk. I'm adding them in the hopes that they will notice me and add Sandwalk to their own blogroll on Blogroll Amnesty Day. You can see my complete blogroll in the left-hand sidebar. I've moved it up for a few days.

Many of the blogs listed below should have been on my blogroll a year ago but I was just too lazy to add them. I read all of these blogs every day, that's one of the criteria. The others are that the blog has frequent postings and the articles are worth reading. In some cases the postings are less frequent than normal but the bloggers are friends, colleagues, relatives, or enemies (or some combination).

I'm very curious about the popularity of blogs. Here are the latest numbers for Sandwalk.

I think the standard measure of popularity is the number of Views per day or the number of Views per month. In January Sandwalk had 47,578 visits and 75,511 views. I think this is about average for the blogs on my blogroll but I really don't know. How about posting your numbers in the comments—if you want to reveal them? (Views per day, and total views in January.)

People also talk about the "Authority" ranking on Technorati. Sandwalk's is 273, whatever that means. What is the "Authority" ranking of your blog? Does anyone know if Pharyngula has authority? What about The Panda's Thumb?

Here are the new blogs I just added today. Read them. Now. They are all very interesting. My apologies to those who should have been there a long time ago.

beer with chocolate
Botany Photo of the Day
Canadian Cynic
Catalogue of Organisms
Eye on DNA
Effect Measure
Framing Science
Genetics & Health
Greg Laden's Blog
Memoirs of a Skepchick
Mike's Weekly Skeptic Rant
Respectful Insolence
Runesmith's Canadian Content"
The Evilutionary Biologist
The Lippard Blog
The Loom
The Frame Problem
The Unexamined Life
Thoughts in a Haystack


Ian said...

My main blog is on WordPress, which only gives you stats for page views, not visits. I hit 5000 (in a month) in January. My daily visits range from about 100 to 1000. And my Technorati rank is 42. Pharyngula's Technorati rank is 2,626

Anonymous said...

Hi Larry

I think it would be safe to argue that Genomicron has about 10-20% of the traffic that Sandwalk receives. I haven't worked it out on a per post basis, but your frequency is considerably greater than mine (though not 10x more, I suspect), so I can't complain about the fact that yours is so much more popular. This is still a cross between an experiment in public outreach and a personal hobby.

My Technorati authority is 103, but I also don't know what the meaning is. The other measure is subscriptions, and I am pushing approximately 300 (though I had another feedburner drop this morning).

We've had a discussion before about the added readership one gets by discussing a variety of topics, including controversial ones. I have stayed out of that area for the most part, though I notice that humour also creates a big boost from time to time. Seems blog readers enjoy sarcasm.

My column on Scientific Blogging, which I use for something different from my personal blog, gets much more attention. For this reason, I can see the value of being part of a blog network, though I know you decided not to go with (no invite for Genomicron in any case, but I would have to think about it if one arose since it's an instant way of gaining exposure).

Sandwalk is one of my favourites, so I am glad to see it doing so well.

VanceH- said...

Hi Larry, The authority rating for The Panda's Thumb is 666 --which might not surprise some christians... You can get the authority rating for any site on technorati by typing the url in the search field and looking on the right side of the page. My authority is 5 and I get around 250 visits a month.

Anonymous said...

My blog, The Frame Problem, is on wordpress and so I don't receive as much data as you appear to receive from blogspot.

The blog has been up and running for 49-50 days,
* has received 20,010 visits,
*so the overall average is 400/day, although as is to be expected its hit totals have increased across the life off the blog and so the average has been around 600 over the last 3 or so weeks;
*on its best day it received 2,314 visits (thanks primarily to a link from PZ),
*it has received 818 comments, which translates into an overall average of over 16/day, though the average over the past few weeks has been higher;
*total of 175 postings (so I average about 3.5 posts a day),
*and to my knowledged it's been linked over 100 times
*the blog's technorati authority is at 53. The authority rating correspond's to technorati's ranking of particular blogs against all other blogs. I'm not sure exactly how they conduct their ranking, though I believe included among the factors is frequency of visits, posting, linking, technorati favouriting, etc. When I first started the Technorati account for TFP (around 4 days after I opened the blog) it had no authority had was ranked just over 4 millionth. Its current authority of 53 corresponds to a ranking of 143,900th.


PS: Thanks for the blogroll link.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the addition! I definitely wasn't expecting that.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you've got me beat as well. I'm getting around 600 hits a day lately, which is a huge increase from what I was getting a couple of months ago. I was wondering if I was getting more popular or if the blogosphere itself was just growing and I was getting a corresponding increase.

Larry Moran said...

Brian asks,

I was wondering if I was getting more popular or if the blogosphere itself was just growing and I was getting a corresponding increase.

Interesting point. I was wondering the same thing. I believe that the popularity of Pharyngula has doubled in the past year. I assume this is due mostly to growth in the total number of people reading science blogs.

If true, it means that our blogs are not growing in real terms unless the number of readers is more than doubling every year.

That's a depressing though.

Ian said...

Pharyngula probably isn't a good example - I think PZ has reached a critical mass in the last year or so - see this, for example - I'm guessing that his growth in readership is going to be above average.

While Alexa has its flaws, especially for smaller websites (where there's likely to be an issue of sample size), it's still interesting. ScienceBlogs as a whole is pretty static in terms of proportional traffic (I couldn't find data for Pharyngula alone). Sandwalk, on the other hand, appears to be growing rapidly.

So, I'm guessing Sandwalk is beating the trend.

John Pieret said...

For the first 2.5 years of blogging I had no site meter of any sort, partly because I blog for my own amusement and partly to protect my ego. Since I switched my feed to Feedburner, there are some numbers given that I don't really understand and that I try not to peek at. When I do, it seems I have about a hundred subscribers and 100-300 views a day. Maybe my ego was right. ;-)

Since I'm neither a collegue nor a relative, I'm glad that I constitute some combination of someone worth reading, an enemy or a friend.

Revere said...

Thanks for adding us (Effect Measure). We will happily reciprocate as we read you but like you, were too lazy to do anything about it. Our traffic depends on several things (e.g., do we suffer a Pharyngularity) but currently our Page Views are about 4100 (our sitemeter is open so feel free to take a look). Last month I think it was about 90,000 (we had a pretty good month). We've been doing this for over 3 years and have a bunch of regular readers and a small community, quite varied. Many of them hate my lefty take on everything but keep coming back to argue with me and read about bird flu and epidemiology. As far as I am concerned they are most welcome.

The Ridger, FCD said...

I don't obsess over it.


January 08? 1436 page views.

I do know I have some RSS subscribers as well.

In Technorati, Authority: 161 and Rank: 37,921 - not that I have any idea what those mean.

But I have readers from all over the world, and that's enough of a reward for me.

Christopher Taylor said...

I believe the Authority ranking on Technorati is supposed to be the number of other sites that have linked to you in the past month or so - so an authority of 666 translates into 666 links. I don't know how Technorati calculates overall rank, but I assume it represents the number of people you have to kill if you want to become number 1. I have a fairly lowly authority of 67, and a rank of 108,652, so I evidently have some work ahead of me.

And thank you for the link.

Andrew said...

From the Technorati FAQ:

"Technorati Authority is the number of blogs linking to a website in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority the blog has."

"Technorati Rank is calculated based on how far you are from the top. The blog with the hightest Technorati Authority is the #1 ranked blog. The smaller your Technorati Rank, the closer you are to the top."

Lippard said...

Thanks for the link, Larry.

Technorati used to list "X links from Y blogs" where it now says "Authority." Those X and Y numbers were for the preceding 90 days.

In April 2007, Technorati started listing an "Authority" number which was the same as Y--the number of links from other blogs over the preceding 90 days.

Lippard said...

I defer to post-diluvian diaspora's citation of the Technorati FAQ--substitute "six months" for "90 days" in my last comment.

Jennifer Smith said...

My blog is only a year old, so I've only just started seeing some real traffic. Still, nothing compared to yours. Lately I've been averaging about 80 page views per day, and that's only because I've been posting like mad over the past couple of weeks.

Not surprisingly, every time you mention my blog I get a nice little bump in readership, so thanks!

PZ Myers said...

Pharyngula gets around 40,000+ visits per day (60,000+ views), or over a million visits a month. I had to look those up just now; I try to avoid fretting over traffic numbers too much, because they just wobble all over the place.

I don't know what authority means, either, but I suspect it's just another metric for traffic and linkage...the only things these various aggregator sites know how to measure.

Rana said...

Judged by hits, I think my blog is at the bottom of this pile. I think single figures in visits per day. I comment here sometimes, hope that the odd person will come and take a look, but as every christian should learn, hoping for something does not make it happen.

Although consistent in frequency, conciseness and topicality, the blog is probably too eclectic in range. If there is a single over-riding theme, apart from an attempt to verify the fundamental interconnectness of everything via the teachings of Monty Python, then it is about seeing through marketing hype. That includes the hype of religions and bandwagons and anything else that requires suspension of critical thought.

Anyway, good stuff here, keep walking the sand.

Bayman said...

Thanks for the props and the visitors Larry. We definitely felt the boost.

Anonymous said...

I took a big hit on technorati numbers when I went form my old blog to But finally my techorati authority has just broken 400, and my ranking is heading towards 11,000 (the lower the better for ranking).

I think technorati authority (higher numbers = more authority) is derived from the authority of those who link to you, but there must be an additive effect. But if they started out all sites with an authority of zero, then everyone would still be zero.

I think we're not supposed to discuss our google analytics data from Sb (corporate rules) but I fluctuate around usually in the bottom half of the top 10 on Scicneblogs, going higher when PZ links to me or something similar happens, and lower when I'm not getting pharyngulated or stumbled-on, etc. The last two weeks I've been ten or lower but usually I'm at about 7.

Unlike PZ I look at my numbers more partly because I'm trying to find myself as a blogger. Data helps. Maybe.

I actually have no idea how many people read my blog faithfully. I think nine or ten people but I often exaggerate and say it is eleven.

I have a rotating (randomly) blog roll. I'm working on some cool software to manage this more automatically. The sites on my blogroll are a) active and b) vaguely related to that which my blog covers. People can simply ask to be on my blog roll, but I also look at the sites of those who comment on my blog and if they are appropriate topically, I add them (but this is not too systematic)

I use the random rotation feature to lead myself to reading them ... when I sit down to read other people's blogs, I look at those on my RSS reader, and then I look at whoever has popped up on my random blog roll . If I have time I hit 'refresh' and look at the new ones. As I do so, if a blog has either gone stale or become somehow inappropriate for my site, I delete it from the list.

After every major maintenance effort I then run the blogroll through some software to convert it into a format that can go in a blog post, then I divide it into ten or fifteen posts that I put up sequentially over that number of days under the heading "blogrolling." This is pretty much for link-love purposes.