Do a Blog’s Rankings Really Matter?
March 10, 2008
There are so many different kinds of ranking systems, numbers, and graphs out there to determine how successful your blog or website is. There is Google PageRank, Alexa, Compete, Technorati, IZEA RealRank, and plenty more. And apart from those there are top lists and ranking systems created for niche sites, like the Top 100 Make Money Online Blogs. All bloggers that are working for growth, improvement, and money will know and check these rankings – some even obsess over them. But do they really matter?
Rankings DO Matter Because…
1. They will motivate you and make you strive to grow and improve your site or blog. You might create goals to reach a certain number or ranking, and by doing this you’re making yourself work harder for success, which you may or may not do otherwise.
2. They’re a good way to measure how well you’re doing. If we had no way to rank or compare our sites, how would we tell others who we’re persuading to read our blogs, or advertisers that want to make sure their money will be spent well?
3. As for advertisers, rankings influence them – even if those rankings aren’t always accurate. The better the rankings and numbers you have to show off, the more ad sales you can achieve.
4. Rankings not only influence advertisers, but they influence other people. If someone sees your blog or site for the first time, they’re not entirely convinced that it’s going to be utterly amazing and one they should read on a daily basis. If you have better rankings, people will recognize you as an authority.
As you can see, rankings DO matter because they set a basis for us and help us compare our blogs with others. If there was no way of comparison, it would be difficult to judge who was doing better, what sites we should read, and whose blogs we should advertise on. Even if the rankings aren’t always completely accurate, they still make a difference in those aspects. And even if not for anyone else, rankings also help you to achieve and strive to do better because they act as motivation and ways to create goals and resolutions.
Rankings DON’T Matter Because…
1. They’re not always accurate. You can have a low PageRank and still have plenty of quality incoming links, if Google docked your ranking. Site 1 might have a better Alexa ranking than Site 2, even if Site 2 has more visitors. Ranking systems can’t always be perfect and completely accurate all the time, so they’re not always the best measurement.
2. Apart from rankings not always being accurate, they can also be gamed easily. People are always looking for ways to cheat the system and get ahead of everyone else, but often times it ends up hurting everyone in the end. Think link trains, where all those who participate repost it, add their own link, and it then it’s posted again dozens more times. This can get you a better PageRank or Technorati score (even if it might come back to bite you in the end).
3. Rankings can prevent your real success from shining through. We’ve become so obsessed with scores and numbers that we don’t focus on the simple, obvious things that judge how successful our sites and blogs are. Your Alexa ranking might not be low enough so sponsors won’t purchase ad space from you, even if you have lots of comments, pageviews, and subscribers.
4. Rankings can lower your self-esteem and make you lose your motivation. Even if you’re working hard, you might not be able to reach the score or rank you hoped for – but this isn’t a reason to give up, because obviously, these systems aren’t perfect and they don’t always equal success or failure. They’re just a general way to measure your statistics, not a detailed one.
And as you can see, rankings DON’T matter because they’re not always accurate, either because the system itself isn’t perfect or because it’s possible to be gamed by the cheaters in the blogosphere. Rankings also can leave a negative impact on advertisers and you – even if you’re doing well your rankings can still be off, leaving a bad impression that’s not your fault.
Real Ways to Judge a Blog’s Success
1. Amount of comments – The comments your blog gets shows how many people are interested in what you write, interested enough to have something to say back. Comments are also a sign of LOYAL readers.
2. RSS subscriber count – This is probably one of the best ways to determine your success. RSS subscribers are those who felt your blog was too good to miss ANY of the content, so they had to make sure to be able to read it daily. A constant growth in subscribers will show you’re doing well.
3. Amount of quality incoming links – When others write articles and link to something else you’ve written to explain something, it means your content is detailed, helpful, and easy to read. When you’re featured in weekly roundups, it also means your posts are of the kind that others like to read.
4. Friends and connections – Having contacts in the blogosphere is important. If you have people you can ask for help when you have a serious blogging problem, or just people that’ll submit your articles to social media sites each week, it shows you’re successful in that aspect.
5. Pageviews and impressions – This is the oldest and most obvious one in the book, but it’s one that shouldn’t be passed by with all of our more detailed and advanced rankings today. The more people you’ve got coming to your blog or site, the better.
It might look like something amazing to achieve if you get high rankings, but don’t let those determine your success. Sit down and think about what you want as a blogger, and if certain rankings don’t apply to you or don’t matter as much, then don’t stress over them. Even if you have low rankings, if you’re achieving what you want as a blogger then you’re doing a perfect job as is. Set your own goals and measure your success in the ways YOU see best fit for your site.
What Do You Think?
Please leave a comment letting us know if you think blog rankings really matter, or if you believe they’re totally useless. Tell us how you mainly measure your success and what kind of goals you set for yourself and your site, if any. I can’t wait to see what you have to say!
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