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Virginia Blog Rankings for 6-19-2001

Introducing Blog Ranking 2.0!

Since January Virginia Right! has compiled a weekly ranking of the top political blogs in Virginia. This was just the first version, and as I wrote at the time. Shortly after I started, I began working on the next version, a far more complicated endeavor that took some time. I had always planned to be totally transparent and released the methods, but it was going to take a bit more work to compile and output the collected data in table form.

I have been testing and debugging the software I wrote to collect the data each Sunday and finally have everything debugged and cranking out the data for the day pretty efficiently.

I am working on an FAQ that will be published in the next few days, but to give you an outline of the data and how I compile the results and calculate the rankings.

The FAQ will have the reasons and logic behind the methods, but here is a quick overview of the process.

First, counters like Sitemeter are flawed and any designs I had on using this site were discarded rather quickly when I began looking at how to accomplish this project. Not everyone agrees with me on this, but they are simply wrong. I documented the findings of an experiment in this post.

The best method to use to rank blogs turns out to be the method that the search engines use to decide how high to rank your listings.

In reviewing the best ranking engines, there was one glaring problem that took some time to overcome. Not all ranking sites rank individual sites on “Community Blogs”. By Community Blogs, I am talking about places like Typepad, WordPress.com and Blogger. When you look up the rank for a particular “sub blog” (which have addresses like myblog.blogger.com) you either get the ranking for the entire site, or none at all. That is a real problem.

With Version 2.0, I decided on four of the top ranking engines, the reasons behind each one will be in the FAQ. The four I selected are Technorati, Alexa, Compete and WebArbiter. The software I wrote visits each of the 4 sites for all of the blogs in the ranking, which is now 63 as I pruned out 11 that had no updates in 6 months (which will probably be the threshold from now on). For Technorati, I grab the US Politics standing.

After visiting each site for each blog’s numbers, the data is stored in an SQL database. For any sites that are not listed, or part of a Community Blog, the ranking is assigned. And it is a draconian number – 100 million. There are two reasons for this number. First, some sites list rankings into the tens of millions, and if you are not listed, you should be ranked below them. The number is also a penalty for not taking the time to get your blog listed. The reason that matters is that if you link to me and you are not listed on the ranking engines, they will never “crawl” your site and see the link to me. It is like a tree falling with no one to hear. But if you are listed in all 4, then the link is pretty valuable and helps me far more. Also, when I publish your ranking in this post, the bots will crawl Virginia Right! and look in their database for your site. If you are not there, you get no love from them, which means your post will probably be listed on the 100th page on Google. Your being listed helps you and anyone that links to you. Trust me on this.

So, how is 100 Million fair if my blog is on a Community Blog? Do I expect you to move to a pay site? Absolutely not! Here is how the ranking averages work:

As I complete all 4 sites for each blog I calculate the average of the top 3 listings. In other words, if you are given a 100 million for a Community Blog, it is tossed out. We only use the best 3 out of 4. On the other hand, if you are not listed in 2 or more, well, that is the penalty part. And there is simply no reason not to get listed. It takes five minutes and costs nothing. Details will be in the FAQ.

After I get the average of the top three for all of the blogs, I sort the blogs based on that average. Sort of a Real Clear Blog Rankings type of average. The order in the sort becomes this weeks standing. That rank is also saved to the database so I can compare your ranking next week to this week. That number is in the table to let you know how much improvement you make week to week. Getting listed in all of the engines will help and it will bring you more readers. Guaranteed!

As I write the FAQ and get it published, if you follow the advice in there, you will see results. And that is what this project is all about. Promoting Virginia Blogs.

Here are the rankings. It is rather pointless to examine the changes from last week, as the way things are rated has changed. So, here are just the tables with all of the data. If you see a zero (or a -1) in one column, go there and get listed, or wait for the FAQ. But either way, do it. (They will all be -1 instead of 0 next week.)


The Overall Standings:

[table id=87 /]


Left Leaning Blogs:

[table id=88 /]


Right Leaning Blogs:

[table id=89 /]

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog.Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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