Thursday, February 15, 2007

Ranking North American Bird Blogs

Now tracking 66.6 million blogs, Technorati has become the gold standard for documenting the “authority” of individual blogs. The lower the Technorati rank of a blog, the greater its presumed level of “authority” in the blogosphere. And the more blogs that link to your blog, the lower your Technorati rank.

Last weekend (February 10-11), I tallied Technorati ranks for 127 of the North American bird blogs listed in my blogroll (i.e., all of the relevant blogs for which I found Technorati ranks). Rankings ranged from 19,251 (highest “authority”) to 2,649,031 (least “authority”), with a distribution that looked like this:

How do bird blogs rate in the greater blogosphere? Well, the top-50 North American bird blogs had a median Technorati rank of 180,749 compared to 16,893 for the top-50 science blogs and 21,591 for the top-50 Malaysian blogs. Similarly, the top-30 North American bird blogs had a median Technorati rank of 109,980 compared to 20,378 for the top-30 education blogs; meanwhile, the top-65 North American bird blogs had a median Technorati rank of 265,704 compared to 28,711 for the top-65 personal finance blogs.

Take-home message: Bird blogs have come a long way, baby, but they still have a long, long way to go.



Blogger Drew said...

Instead of comparing (narrow topic) bird blogs to (broad topic) science blogs, you should compare bird blogs to botany or entomology blogs for a useful comparison.

February 15, 2007 9:52 PM  
Blogger John L. Trapp said...

Excellent point, Drew. I just went with what comparisons I had in hand at the moment. Maybe some more searching is in order.

February 16, 2007 7:03 AM  
Blogger John B. said...

I wonder if the relatively low Technorati rankings for birding blogs has anything to do with posting style. A lot of the material posted on bird blogs seems to be trip reports, photos, and the like. Those types of posts generally do not lend themselves to interlinking. I can't speak for the education, personal finance, and Malaysian blogs, but the science blogs seem to reference each other constantly. Could the interlinking be driving their rankings higher?

By the way, I enjpy these periodic "meta" posts.

February 17, 2007 11:24 PM  
Blogger John L. Trapp said...

Thanks for the feedback, John. Your observation about the relative lack of interlinking among bird bloggers is an astute one. It seems that many of the bird bloggers rarely provide links, whether it be to other blogs or to Web links. That's neither good nor bad; it's simply reflects their style of writing. But the number one factor affecting your Technorati ranking is the number of other blogs that have linked to you in the last 180 days. The higher the number of blogs that link to your the lower your Technorati rankings, whish is a desirable thing. Theoretically, if every one of the approximately 100 active North American bird bloggers linked to each of the other 99 bird bloggers at least once every 180 days, our collective Technorati "authority" would rise to a score of approximately 35,000 or so compared to the current median rank of about 180,000. I myself am guilty of not linking to other bird blogs nearly as frequently as I should. I think it's a habit that needs to be cultivated, and perhaps encourage among the rest of our fellow bird-bloggers.

February 18, 2007 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting post. Sorry it took me so long to reply to these observations, John. I should point out that of the top 50 science blogs, #20, 29, 34, 35, and 37 have contributed to I and the Bird. Bora has hosted IATB. Best of all, Nuthatch is most certainly one of us. She may have crossover appeal (many more of us would if we wanted it) but she's a certified birder.

March 27, 2007 9:29 PM  
Blogger John L. Trapp said...

All good points, Mike. There is certainly some overlap between the science blogs and bird blogs, and even more between bird blogs and nature blogs. Yes, I agree, I have no hesitation in including Nuthatch in my North American bird blog links.

March 27, 2007 9:40 PM  

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