Top Ranked Web Analytics Blogs

violetA simple process of trying to create a Top 10 list of Analytics blogs can be complex, here is the story (with some reporting tips sprinkled in).

Of the 44.2 million (!!) blogs out there today 0.00013% from the field of "web analytics". I wanted to create a list of the top 10 web analytics blogs both to satiate my curiosity and also to create a handy list of resources for people interested in web analytics.

The process of coming up with the list was fraught with decisions similar to what we might run into while creating a web analytics report. What tool to use? How to identify relevant blogs (remember as of today there are 44.2 million)? How good is data quality? What data to show along with the rankings to add more context to the rank?

There are many blog ranking sites out there. My choice was Technorati since it seems to be a well accepted standard, even if according to some a bit flawed. Standards and benchmarks are great because people buy into them more easily and sometimes the choice of a bit flawed standard is a small price to pay.

Tagging seems to be a standard in the blogosphere. Common tags that fall into our specific area seem to be: Web analytics, web metrics, web-analytics, analytics,  google analytics, advanced analytics. Simplicity always wins over complexity, because what people understand better they are more likely to action, if relevant. My decision was to stay with the cleanest tag: Web Analytics.

Data quality was perhaps the most interesting challenge. Some of the blogs that showed up in the resulting query did not seem to be purely about web analytics. One of the blogs that should have shown up high did not show up at all (Eric: your blog, which I am sure is highly ranked does not show up in Technorati, perhaps something’s amiss). Rather than applying my judgment I choose to show the listing exactly as it would show up in technorati, because judgment should be applied with a lot of careful consideration because reasonable people might disagree with someone they don’t know, and that leads to doubt and a credibility hit.

In any report context is king. A simply table with ranking would have sufficed, but it would not be as insightful. I decided to add Technorati rank to show in the global context of all the blogs in the world how are our web analytics blogs doing. The decision to add Links to Sites ratio was made because I thought it gave key insights to higher rankings: breadth (more sites that link to you) matter more than depth (same sites who link to you multiple times). That was fascinating. How long each blog has been around also seemed like it might add great context to the ranking (how long does it take to get to #1 or who can get how far how quickly etc etc). In the end I decided to leave it out (can you guess why?).

Be aware of hidden agenda, yours and those of others, and accommodate for them in your reporting / decision making. The reason this is top 15 and not top 10 (as my original plan) is because I wanted one of my friends on this list and his blog was not in the top 10. This is just a simple example of a “hidden agenda”, more often when we report things are much more complex. My personal ultimate loyalty is to highlight the Customer Voice and any agendas to promote are with goal of highlighting the Customer Voice over that of the company. It is not always optimal but there are more people with the Company Voice so it all balances out.

One final tip, be open and up front with your assumptions, it shows a understanding of the data and builds credibility. You'll see examples of this above and below.

To summarise the reporting tips:

  1. Global standards and benchmarks are great because people buy into them more easily
  2. Simplicity always wins over complexity, because what people understand better they are more likely to action
  3. Judgment should be applied with a lot of careful consideration because reasonable people might disagree with someone they don’t know
  4. In any report context is king, provide the right context
  5. Be aware of hidden agendas, your’s and those of others
  6. Be open and up front with your assumptions

Without any further delay, and with much fanfare : The Top 15 Web Analytics Blogs
(I'll publish an updated list in one month):

Technorati June 12
Rank Blog Author Rank Links / Sites
1 Conversion Rater Pat McCarthy 9,832 252 / 191
2 Web Metrics Guru Marshall Sponder 11,201 6,849 / 173
3 Pronet Advertising Neil Patel 27,181 123 / 87
4 Occam's Razor Avinash Kaushik 61,940 129 / 45
5 Web Analytics Guide Travis Staut 91,511 39 / 33
6 Mikkel deMib Svendsen Mikkel deMib Svendsen 102,630 74 / 30
7 Increasing your website's conversion rate Robbin Steif 111,263 93 / 28
8 Ecosphere Emmanuel Parody 111,263 66 / 28
9 Web Analytique Blynxx (Adrien) 127,066 54 / 25
10 Demystifying Usability Frank Spillers 139,948 33 / 23
11 Business et Marketing Online 2.0 David Sadigh 196,911 32 / 17
12 Online Marketing Blog Federico Calore 196,911 31 / 17
13 Brand To Be Determined Ed Schipul 225,302 34 / 15
14 Instant Cognition Clint Ivy 225,302 33 / 15
15 Web Analytics Blog Xavier Casanova 261,228 22 / 13

(That last number for Xavier’s blog does not look right. So two data issues in this report.)

With the methodology, issues, assumptions explained above would you still find this "report" insightful? Would you have made different choices in its creation? How can I make it better next month?

Please share your feedback via comments.

Comments

  1. 1
    Mark McLaren says:

    Avinash -
    Another great post. You are right. I am interested (as are many others, no doubt) to know the start date of each blog (rather than having to find each one myself). Will you consider including this in the next iteration of the list?

    My first guess as to why you chose not to include this information is that the blog in the number 4 slot burst onto the scene less than one month ago (!), and you don't want to bias readers about that blog's credibility…?

    What an interesting question. Your list is an indicator, first and foremost, of credibility, right? Would including a start date make any difference in that regard?

    Does a top ten (or 15) list of Web Analytics blogs indicate (or intend to indicate) anything other than a ranking of credibility?

    I'm asking because I don't know, but does your list factor in the ranking of the blogs that link to a particular blog, or just the raw number of unique blogs that link?

    Mark McLaren – The McBuzzBlog

  2. 2
    Neil Patel says:

    Thanks for the mention.

  3. 3

    Mark: My wife is an analytical genius and she guessed it right away (even as I was writing it). But I did not think the first comment would guess it right, obviously I underestimated my small band of loyal readers. :^)

    Your guess is absolutely right, it might have become a distraction. I always recommend that for maximum impact one should depersonalize things (if you have too much of you in any analysis people won’t buy it as much as they should). Credibility is king, as you have aptly put.

    Another reason (and someone else will guess this as well) was that *my judgment* was that knowing Links / Sites was more valuable (gave a better insight) to the ranking and how it work. Since I have limited space I wanted the readers to take that insight first.

    Your list is an indicator, first and foremost, of credibility, right?

    In a way yes. Atleast according to technorati’s logic in how it does ranking. The more valuable content you add, the more people talk about it and link to it, and that is a great proxy for the democratic masses “voting”. Not perfect but some logic.

    Does a top ten (or 15) list of Web Analytics blogs indicate (or intend to indicate) anything other than a ranking of credibility?

    Ahh this can be a whole post in of itself. It took me a lot longer to put this list together than it might seem. My summary is that it is a indicator of a lot more than credibility (and the ranking can be influenced by other things). But it would be too long for a comment.

    but does your list factor in the ranking of the blogs that link to a particular blog, or just the raw number of unique blogs that link?

    Nope it does not factor in anything other than the technorati ranking. I am not as smart as they are and if I was factoring in anything else it would not be as credible.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate the comments, it is the only way I know someone finds value from the blog.

  4. 4
    Jen says:

    This is a very interesting post… in my mind, it uncovers some of the ways Technorati can be bent to a site owner's advantage. Improving your Technorati ranking is alot like search engine optimization. The more links you get, the better you rate. So WebMetricsGuru (being a Guru ;) ) is a member of a media network which means links to his site are posted all over the web with great frequency. In addition he is a very frequent participant on other blogs, so he drives his buzz. In that way, Technorati rankings seem to say more about perceived relevance than credibility. People could link you to say you are off the mark!

    As far as the notable absences (there are quite a few I read regularly that I would've expected on this list), I believe the only way you can be ranked on Technorati is if you have claimed your blog (and/or pinging them on post?). Anyway, this requirement leaves some blogs out of the loop.

    Thank YOU, Avinash! I am sure I speak for many lurkers when I say I am so pleased you are blogging, and I enjoy your entries immensely. They never fail to make me think!

  5. 5
    Jaimie Scott says:

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate the comments, it is the only way I know someone finds value from the blog.

    Avinash — Just for the record, I derive great value from your blog even though I seldom post comments. I like your perspective on things and you always make me think. Oh, yeah, and I like the name.

    Jaimie Scott

  6. 6

    Jen: I have already giving up on trying to outrank my friend Marshall (webmetricsguru) becuase there is no way I will ever (!) get the kind of backlinks and exposure that he has.

    But the list (or "ranking") still works becuase Marshall has great content. He even does a great job of tying metrics to Angelina's baby (how awesome is that).

    In the end the goal of the list I did was simply to share other helpful resources and to motivate myself to do better.

    Thanks for your comments, I love comments. :^)

    -Avinash.
    PS: If you think there are obvious sites I am missing (and they are not on my blogroll) then could you please email them to me, would have to have it (blog at kaushik dot net).

  7. 7

    Nice List Avinash.

    Always keep in mind that technorati is not the only way to measure blogs…there are many other ways.

  8. 8

    Avi, my main focus on my weblog of late has been instrumentation for measurement using my favorite analytics provider and I have not really done boo to promote the darn thing. I hope to take a cue from the great work you're doing in generating comments but am somewhat limited in what I'm able to post re: my position at Visual Sciences.

    Either way, I appear to claim the #8 or #9 slot in your list:

    http://www.technorati.com/blogs/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.webanalyticsdemystified.com%2Fweblog

    Any chance you'll publish your list as a RSS feed or somehow make it available in HTML format? I'd love to drop it on Web Analytics Demystified as a resource if we could somehow automate the process.

    Keep up the great work!

  9. 9

    Eric: I will take up your suggestion and put together something automated that will work in the model you suggest. I am gratified that the post was helpful and might be useful in other additional ways. Give me a couple days.

    Thanks again for your comments, I really appreciate that.

  10. 10

    Avinash,

    This stirred up some interest to be sure. ;o)

    I think however the technorati blogsearch isn't a relevant measure simply because it's based on search technology.

    It produces SERPS based on the phrase "web analytics" and ranks based on its own search criteria as I'm sure you know. Technorati has 44 million in its index. So it's looking through the 44 million which its crawled. Technorati then decides based on its own criteria (starting with how many other sites link to it from it's database) how to produce the SERP.

    Technorati is not therefore not taking into account relevance. Simply producing the best results it can based on its own criteria.

    Web analytics demystified is the best blog around when it comes to web analytics, but because Eric hasn't optimized for Technorati he doesn't appear in their SERP.

    Your idea is interesting though I'd like to see your criteria include relevance to the subject matter – context is king as you say, but the technorati blogsearch in my opinion shows very little context. Try typing "blackbeak" into Technorati and you'll see what I mean. My blogsite comes up 3rd when I should be top.

  11. 11
    Doug Barger says:

    Kudos Avinash Kaushik,

    The "hidden agenda" of producing the most well-organized and clean content relevant rich blog sticks out like a healthy thumb's up. Also, the keen relationship factors between the perception-worthy observations of your wife concerning timeliness and the credibility of Google analytics help links and the Technorati mention is nice relevant marriage as well. Keep up the good work. Excellent blog.

    :) And thank you for the tips.

  12. 12
    ben says:

    this realy good list that i can learn from to make my blog be in top of other

    thank for nice list that if i do myself by walk around internet take long ways..

    and i going to public this to my own vietnamese forums for SEO webmaster and other is the forums for webmasters using your list.. it will be included your links and copyright

    hope you agree..
    thanks
    regards

  13. 13
    davidvogt says:

    Your article is very informative and helped me further.

    Thanks, David

  14. 14
    webdesigner says:

    Very useful list. Thanks for compiling it for us.

  15. 15
    Sam says:

    Hi Avinash,
    I'm right now watching your video on "Context and actionability in web analytics" its turning great, I'm new to webanalytics I'm sure its worth reading your book on webanalytics which i missed a couple of weeks ago in an expo :-) thanks – Sam

  16. 16
    Morten says:

    Hi
    A very useful list and article.
    If you translate it into danish I would be glad :)

  17. 17
    Linda Bustos says:

    Hi Avinash,

    Just a heads up, Clint Ivy's blog has moved to this domain:

    http://blog.instantcognition.com/

    The link above points to the old blog.

  18. 18
    siya says:

    Thanks for sharing the list.

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