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The Tots100 Primer

Every time I post the monthly Tots100 index, someone will ask me to explain how it works. So before we post the December index next week, I thought I’d explain in non-techie terms how this works. If there’s still anything you don’t understand, then do leave a Q in the comments and I’ll try to explain.

We measure all the blogs in the index using the same metrics. All metrics are evenly weighted, which means they all contribute equally to the overall score.

The first metric we look at is Google blog links and the second is Google recent blog links – how many blogs have linked to your blog, and how many of those links are from the past month? This gives us an idea of how interesting you are generally, and how interesting you’ve been lately.

Third, we look at Yahoo Inlinks, and calculate how many links there are to your blog from websites (not just blogs) – but we do exclude links from your own site to your own archives – what are known as self-referring links.

Fourth, we use Technorati Authority, which is a value calculated by Technorati which reflects how many blogs link to you – and how influential those blogs are. Crucially, Technorati Authority is based on the number of different blogs that link to you – so a blog scoring 100 links from 10 different sites will score less highly than a blog with 50 links from 50 different sites.

The fifth metric we use is Post Rank, a tool that measures how interactive your website is, based on Tweets, social bookmarks and so on, measuring each post on a scale of 1 to 10. We take an average of all your scores over a one month period.

Sixth, we look at how many readers you have on the biggest RSS reader – Google. This isn’t a measure of your total traffic but by comparing the figure for ALL blogs we can draw comparisons and make some fair assumptions about relative popularity.

Seventh, we look at Twitter – rather than just counting followers, we use Klout – an analytic tool that gives you a score out of 100 based on several factors, including how many followers you have relative to how many people you follow, how many of your Tweets are retweeted, and how influential your own followers are.

We collate this data for around 300 blogs each month. Once the data’s collected, we eliminate any blog scoring zero in more than two categories – on the basis that they’re not going to be able to reach the top 100. The remaining blogs are then scored using a simple multimetric algorithm – we take each metric and rank the blogs from low to high, awarding the lowest scoring blog 1 point and the top scoring blog 100+. We then add up the seven scores to give a total score, which is then ranked to produce the top 100. 

Want to boost your score?

   1. Register with Technorati
   2. Make it easy for people to share your content – Tweet this buttons, link your blog to your Facebook account, link them both to Twitter.
   3. Make it easy for people to subscribe with a big "Subscribe Now!" button on your site.
   4. Link out and eventually people will link back to you.
   5. Make it easy for new readers to find you – join online forums, put your blog address in your email signature, search optimise your headlines and posts. 
   6. Be yourself. First and foremost, blog for you, have fun with it – people can tell, you k


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

About The Author


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.


  1. Fi

    Thanks for this post, very interesting to see how you monitor things like Twitter. I think I have been doing too much of 6. and not enough of numbers 1-5!! 🙂

  2. Dawn/LittleGreenFingers

    I have been wondering for a while how you manage to do all this as well as earn a living, raise a child, sleep and go to the toilet.
    My hunch is that you are also a rogue scientist and have managed to clone yourself… several times.

  3. Linda

    Hi Sally, I’m sorry if I sound really thick about this and you offered advice on it on BMB but the thing I can’tget my head round is the google blogsearch – I just can’t seem to find links to my blog on google blogsearch – I have people telling me left right and centre they have linked to me and sure enough the blog posts are there but when I click on google blogsearch I just can’t see them. I set up an alert as advised and what is delivered is random old posts. I wrote about children and bereavement and this has been linked to and I would like to keep track and say thank you.

  4. Liz (LivingwithKids)

    Thanks Sally this is really helpful xxx

  5. Sally

    @Dawn – my secret is that Flea is actually being raised by wolves.
    @Linda – not sure. Can you give me an example of a link that doesn’t show up in GBS? I’ve had a quick look and can see quite a few links from this month but happy to see if I can spot a problem if I’ve got something more specific to go on.

  6. Linda

    Hi Sally – here are a couple of recent links to Got Your Hands Full, which I can’t see – perhaps the problem is that I really am being stupid and looking in completely the wrong place:
    There are several more, from various people and I don’t know where to find them, if I go to Google blogsearch, they don’t show up. I don’t understand what I am doing wrong.
    Thanks for helping, I hope you understand I really appreciate it.

  7. Plan B

    Thank you for this! I’m technologically useless but still hoping one day to make it on to the list! (Not been going for three months though yet), so am following all your instructions to the letter! Just done my technorati bit so we’ll see…. Just really came over to say, as well as thanks, that I’ve just linked to you in a blog post. I hope that’s ok. Do let me know if not. Many thanks again.

  8. Sally

    @Linda- I can’t see a link on the first URL, might be just me being dim? Second link, hmm, not picked up by Gogole at all, even if you search for links specifically on that domain.
    The reality is that Google does miss stuff. If you’re worried about missing inbound links you might want to try Yahoo Inlinks in Yahoo Site Explorer. There, you can plug in a specific post address and look for inbound links – for example, it shows 19 inbound links to that post, including Josie’s. A combination of the the two should pick up most stuff. I also use Icerocket to search for links.
    Surely, the best way to track inbound links though is your site referrers? After all, a link that nobody clicks on is a bit like a tree falling in the forest, no? Inbound clicks will tell you every link that gets one or more clicks, after all.
    @PlanB – Fab, and thanks for the link!

  9. Linda

    No, I posted the wrong one, sorry. never mind, it was an earlier or later one linking to post I did about children and bereavement. Yes I understand and agree with what you are saying about trees falling 🙂 but because I wrote something with such a delicate theme I wanted to be able to see who was linking to it and to say thank you. I don’t really look at statcounter or typepad much to see what links are bringing people but suppose I should. though now I need to see what this Yahoo thing you speak of is as literally one or two links as far as I can see are showing up in Google. Oh well. Thanks again, really appreciate it.

  10. amy

    hi sally will i be included this month as i never heard anything back from you? great infotmation on how you do the top 100 just went whoosh right over my head lol


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