My website/blog is now – and always has been – ad free. In fact, I work very hard to make it clutter-free. Instead of linking to hundreds of other wine blogs, which is the formula for garnering more eyeballs and higher ratings, I link to just those few that I personally read and find most rewarding. I have an rss feed and a Facebook and Twitter link, but that’s about it for clutter. I have worked very hard at designing an easy-to-scan, no b.s. look and feel. Hopefully, you readers find it to be just that.
I point this out not to pat myself on the back, but to mention that, as a result of these decisions, this blog generates not one cent of income. And since it does not, and furthermore has been essentially designed to make it impossible to monetize, I have not paid much attention to blog ratings.
I know that there are various metrics that can be used, and various enterprises that can tell you how you are doing, but so far I have not really had a grip on any of that, other than the occasional PG post that rises to the top of the daily/weekly/monthly winebusiness.com rankings.
The other day I received this note, from a ranking service called Wikio.
“Hi Paul, This is Oliver from Wikio, I am contacting you about our new Wine rankings for October. The official ranking will go online at the end of the week but as your blog has done extremely well, gaining several places and entering the top 20, I was wondering whether you would be interested in getting an early look and publishing an exclusive before it goes live on wikio.com. Let me know, and I’ll send you over the HTML code to you as soon as I have it.”
I was intrigued, so I wrote back to Oliver to inquire about Wikio’s methodology. How had I suddenly risen to within spitting distance of such rarefied bloggers as Dr. Vino, Tom Wark, Alder Yarrow, and Josh Wade?!?
Oliver was kind enough to offer this guidance. “The position of a blog in the Wikio ranking depends on the number and weight of the incoming links from other blogs. These links are dynamic, which means that they are backlinks or links found within articles. Only links found in the RSS feed are included. Blogrolls are not taken into account, and the weight of any given link increases according to how recently it was published. We thus hope to provide a classification that is more representative of the current influence levels of the blogs therein.”
“Moreover,” he continued, “the weight of a link depends on the linking blog’s position in the Wikio ranking. With our algorithm, the weight of a link from a blog that is more highly ranked is greater than that of a link from a blog that is less well ranked. I know this is all a bit confusing but we think it gives the best idea of a blogs influence and thus we make the rankings. Unfortunately we don't have all the blogs in our database although we do try.”
Well, I understood most of that, and of course I’m happy to hear that someone besides Mrs. G is actually perusing these unfined and unfiltered musings. So I’m going ahead and putting up the html ranking that Wikio provided.
To repeat - this is not meant to be entirely self-serving. Hey, I'm number 14, not numero uno!! But I'd love to ask those among you who may be more knowledgeable than I to comment on the value and importance and relevance of blog rankings, and particularly those from Wikio.
I’ve lived with media ratings all my working life, but especially during my years in radio and television. In the broadcast media, as long as I’ve known it, you live and (mostly) die by ratings. Is that going to be true also for the blogosphere?