What is RealRank? – “a blog ranking system that uses real data to calculate which blogs are getting the most traffic and have the most influence on the web. IZEARanks ranks the top blogs in the blogosphere via actual site statistics, not an extrapolation of estimates.”
The Reason for RealRank? – in short the reasoning for RealRank that they are selling it with is that non of the other ‘ranking’ systems for websites really do a good enough job or give a realistic measure of how a blog is going. They talk about Google PR, Alexa, ComScore etc.
So IZEA is suggesting that their RealRank is a better measure and will give bloggers and advertisers a better idea of how a blog is going and how it compares to others.
They’re ranking blogs based upon three factors:
- 70% weighted towards visitors per day
- 20% weighted towards amount of ACTIVE inbound links per day
- 10% weighted towards pageviews per day
Sounds Good… But….
OK – so the above measures all sound fairly good in terms of measuring a blog’s rank (although we could probably come up with another 10-20 factors that could be included – depending upon our definition of what a successful blog is) – HOWEVER there is one major deficiency with RealRank that in my mind brings it back into the realm of all of the other ranking systems that they set themselves up against….
IZEA only tracks blogs who opt in and who are willing to allow IZEA to put a tracking script on their blog. While this might lead to accurate measurements of how your blog is going – it’s not ever going to be a true ranking tool for the blogosphere as I really can’t see the majority of bloggers using is.
The advantage that other ranking tools have is that you don’t need to opt in. While this might lead to less accurate measurements at least they do measure all blogs (and all websites).
Another issue that is worth considering is why you’d want to be included in a blog only ranking system. My own opinion is that bloggers need to stop looking at themselves in such an insular manner and just comparing themselves to other blogs as I think this can actually limit yourself.
Your blog doesn’t just compete with blogs – it’s competing with sites of all types.
As Paul Glazowski at Mashable writes:
“But if you look at it from another vantage, you might find it too selective and limited. Site ranks are, after all, typically determined against an unvarnished view of the whole canvas of the Web. Why? Because the Web, on the whole, is the grand venue targeted by most ambitious sites – be they e-commerce institutions or respected publications operating via the RSS protocol.
Bloggers of course do wish to see their publications grow and eventually live as well-known entities on the open plain of the Internet. So to distinguish blogs from all other publications then wouldn’t be of any use, right?”
Another Hurdle for IZEA…
One of the main hurdles that I think IZEA will have with RealRank is that everything that they launch now is being associated with something in their rocky past – PayPerPost (IZEA is the parent company for PPP).
I’ve already heard 3-4 bloggers tell me that they’re not going to participate in this because they don’t want a company like PPP to have access to their blog’s metrics.
Others have expressed concern over it as they think it’ll be a signal to Google that you’re selling links.
It’s interesting to hear these comments and I wonder if it will be a feeling that stops many from participating. I’m personally not that sure if this is a fair criticism. After all most bloggers have some sort of script running on their blogs (whether it be Google Analytis, AdSense or some other advertising system or metrics tool). At times I wonder whether I should be putting my blog’s data in the hands of Google too!
What do You Think?
My overall feeling is that this is a tool that has some merit and gives bloggers a fresh way of looking at their performance – however in terms of being a comparative tool that ranks the blogosphere I’m not it’s going to get enough blogs involved to warrant it being useful. As a statistical tool it might be useful for bloggers – but then again you could get all the same information on how your blog is performing by using another metrics tool.
The above are just some of my own initial thoughts on BlogRank – but I’m just one blogger (one who has chosen not to use it). Ultimately the success or failure of RealRank doesn’t rest on my shoulders – it rests on whether it’ll be picked up and used by the wider blogging community.
So will you use it?