BlogLevel is a blog measurement tool created by Jonny Bentwood at Edelman
This tool will be in continuous beta and will evolve as new techniques, API’s and
channels become available. Even though we believe that it goes a great way to understand
and quantify the varying importance of different people's blogs, by no means whatsoever
do we believe we have fully solved the 'influence' problem. What we would appreciate
is your views, your feedback, advice and criticism is crucial in helping us understand
social media measurement.
What makes BlogLevel different?
There are many excellent blog ranking tools. BlogLevel does not seek to copy these
but to add something new that none of the others provide.
BlogLevel is unique in that it recognises that in order to measure a blog’s influence
it needs to capture information beyond the traditional method of 'authority of inbound
links' to also include discussion of the blog on social media platforms and use
Range assigned to score
Google inbound links (past 3 months)
Yahoo inbound links (all time)
Number of subscribers
Number of Twitter inbound links
Date since last blog post
Average number of posts per week
Blog site optimised for SEO
Weight assigned to each attribute
Here's a bundle more info
PageRank is a link analysis algorithm that interprets web links and assigns
a numerical weighting (0 to 10) to each page. High-quality pages receive a higher
PageRank. The ranking uses the actual PageRank of the blogs homepage as part of
Yahoo Inbound Links [date unlimited]
Yahoo counts the total number of inbound links that go directly to a blog. Each
number was assigned to a range which was then used as part of the algorithm.
Google Inbound Links [3 months date limited]
Google allows people to search the number of inbound
links to a specific blog but limit this to a predefined date period. Similar to
how Technorati only looks at six months of data, this method was used in combination
with the Yahoo Inbound Link count to assess which blogs were considered to be important
due to the number of links that came to them, but also currently relevant as measured
by the limitations on the timescale. Each number was assigned to a range which was
then used as part of the algorithm.
There are many programmes such as Google reader that lists the total number of subscribers
to a blog. I believe this is a more realistic number to that which Bloglines provides.
Mihai Parparita confirms that "these
numbers include subscribers across all Google services". To account for people using
other readers (e.g. Newsgator) it has been suggested that this number is multiplied
by 3. Subscriber ranges were determined (i.e. more than 20, more than 30, etc.)
and each range was assigned a number that was used as part of the algorithm.
Frequency of Posts
Updating relevant and interesting content frequently onto a blog will naturally
cause more people to find this blog important. This score is established to understand
the precise number of posts per week that the blogger makes. Frequency numbers were
determined and assigned to a range that was used as part of the algorithm.
Date Last Blog Post Published
Working in combination with 'Frequency of Posts', this score mitigates against blogs
that were once popular but haven’t been updated for a long time. The number of days
since the last blog post was calculated and assigned to a range which was used as
part of the algorithm.
A simple way to judge how valuable a blog is to other people is through the number
of comments (where this is enabled) that visitors make. In a similar way to linking
and subscribing this user requested service shows a significant value. The number
of comments made over the last five posts were calculated and assigned to a range
which was used as part of the algorithm.
There are various online tools available to count the number of links inbound to
a blog from Twitter.
Backtype was used to count the number of these occurrences over the past
five blog posts. The number of times this happened was calculated and assigned a
range which was used as part of the algorithm.
Blog site optimised for SEO
Search engine optimization is the method of analyzing and constructing
individual web pages, as well as entire sites, so that they can be discovered, analyzed,
and then indexed by various search engines. This is essential for bloggers – after
all, if their page cannot be found by new people then their site will not reach
its full influence potential. Blogs were scored higher by embedding key meta-data
into their sites (such as tags, links, images). The amount of SEO information included
in a blog was assigned a number within a range which was used as part of the algorithm.
Each specific variable listed above was given a standard score out of 10. Using
a weighting scale I varied the importance of the each metric to establish a blogs
Weighted for Influence
Influence is the primary ranking metric in BlogLevel. The key variables weighted
higher than others include Google PageRank, recent inbound links, number of subscribers
and twitter inbound links. It should be noted though, that even though it is still
possible to see in the top 10 positions the blogs that are well known, Edelman believe
that it is the blogs that are focussed on topics in the long-tail micro-niches that
have the most value as it is within this group that engagement can most easily occur.
Weighted for Popularity
The key variables that were weighted higher than others include number of subscribers,
recent inbound links and twitter inbound links. Even though BlogLevel measures popularity
(and in fairness this is the standard metric that blogs are measured by in the industry),
at Edelman we believe that there is a fundamental flaw in the assertion that popularity
= influence. For this reason, influence and not popularity is the primary ranking
Weighted for Engagement
The key variables that were weighted higher than others were Twitter inbound links,
comments and frequency of posts. There are many blogs that simply broadcast their
ideas – however, Edelman have noticed that it is the bloggers who engage in conversation
that tend to be more important than those that simply shout their thoughts without
enabling a mechanism for continued dialogue.
Weighted for Trust
Trust is incredibly difficult to measure in the blogosphere. In this instance the
variables that rely on individuals choosing to act have been given the highest weightings.
These include recent inbound links, number of subscribers and twitter inbound links.