Wednesday, June 06, 2007

AdAge makes that common mistake: Links do not equal traffic

AdAge, on the one hand, does a nice job of pulling together stats from various sources [PDF] in this article about blogging.

So why ruin it with faulty conclusion?

Like this one:
It’s still a man’s world out there in the blogosphere. Women’s blogging networks such as count more than 9,000 member blogs run by women (and a few men) writing on women’s issues. And women account for roughly half of all bloggers. However, much like in the corporate world, only a handful of the most-read blogs are run by women. In Technorati’s list of the top 20 blogs, only three are noticeably written by women—Arianna Huffington, Michelle Malkin and Kathy Sierra.

OK, how many times do we have to say this: Technorati measure inbound links. That's about it. Certainly not traffic. And I do believe you'd need to know traffic stats to decide who is the "most-read."

Is it correlative? While I have no doubt that most of those who are highly-linked probably have greater-than-avergae traffic, I don't think it proves that those who are not highly linked don't have high traffic. Actually, I have the anecdotal evidence of all of the humongous mommy- and foodie- and other non-tech, non-politico, non-gossip bloggers who don't end up on the Technorati list, despite mondo-traffic.

I remember the time PR-blogger extraordinaire Steve Rubel talked about his daily traffic (somewhere between 4000-5000 uniques a day if memory serves) and how surprisingly petite it was. And he's ranked #74 in the Technorati list today.

So, repeat after me: links do not necessarily equal traffic. And high traffic can come without a ton of links.

Ask Elise Bauer, mistress of SimplyRecipes, she of the millions of visitors and lack of Technorati Top 100 standing!

She'll disabuse of the notion that link popularity=traffic. And AdAge should have known better!

The curse of the inbound link! ugh!

I appreciate technorati for what it does but it doesn't show the whole picture and until it does (not that I think it ever will) then folks really ought to stop using it as the measurement for success.


Women's blogs are interesting in a lot of ways. Many many readers don't have blogs so obviously they aren't giving a link IN!

But, those readers are loyal to the end. They come back day after day, leave comment after comment, talk to other people about their favorites.

I have some theories about folks who don't write blogs, and just read them - I think they are a lot more valuable than the blogger who feeds you an inbound link every now and then.
Exactly Denise! Pew stats have remained consistent over the last 3-4 1 in 5 blog readers is a blogger themselves. That means ~80% of the blog audience is incapable of giving you an inbound link.

But they are capable of giving you traffic, loyalty and lots of great conversation in the comments.

This inbound link fetish infuriates me, as do people who say they don't need to allow comments, because someone can blog their response and have a conversation that way if they want to.

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