The Tots100 Primer (Updated Version)

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 question 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 know!

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