10 Blog Success Metrics and How They Can be Manipulated

This article will discuss success ranking systems within the blogosphere, and then give ideas about how to manipulate and benefit from them.

TEN – Technorati Favorites

Although I don’t think this is a particularly useful metric, having a lot of people who have added your blog as a favorite on Technorati may get you some traffic. It also shows potential readers that others think your blog is good.

How can it be manipulated?

Very easily. There have been, and continue to be, plenty of exchanges set up for swapping Technorati “add to favorites”. i.e., “You add me and I will add you.” Here is one such popular example: DoshDosh. I doubt it is worth it though, as because it is so easily manipulated it doesn’t hold any real weight.

NINE – Blog Catalog Rank

Blog catalog is a fairly large online community, where as a blogger you are free to promote your blog as shamelessly as you please. This alone is reason enough for you to want to put effort into developing a rank on the site. The directory side of the site works by providing category based listings of blogs. You can also buy a sponsored slot which will get you to the top of a list for between $8 and $30. How high you appear on the list depends on your rank. Here is a definition of how the rank is calculated:

Blog Rank – a special formula that analyzes your hits, views, comments, neighborhood members and other special secret ingredients to create a numeric score based on a 100 point scale. Your Blog Rank is primarily used to determine the order blogs appear in our Directory and Search Results. The higher your score the better your placement.

How can the rank be manipulated?

Fairly easily. A factor in the formula which you can manipulate is the members in your neighborhood. If you add everyone as a friend, many will add you back, and many of those will consider the act a nice enough deed to either visit your blog or even join your neighborhood. That is why you will see users with thousands of friends on blog catalog, many of which they don’t even know.

EIGHT – Alexa

Alexa is a page rank system that ranks your site as a number compared with every other site in the world. i.e., your site is ranked 333,000 in the world. Yahoo is ranked 1st, Google 2nd, Myspace 3rd, YouTube 4th, and Facebook 5th. There’s no doubting that these are popular web sites, so it must have some degree of accuracy. It is mainly used by certain advertisers, and it gives you an idea of how popular your site is compared to not only blogs but all sites on the net.

How can it be manipulated?

I have read that installing the Alexa bar on your own browser can help you climb the ladder to a small degree. The idea is that you visit your own site a lot, so if you browse it with a browser that is using the Alexa bar, it will help you rank better.

SEVEN – Web Site Traffic / Page Hits / Unique Visitors

No success metric list would be complete without considering traffic. If a blog is getting a lot of visitors it is successful. If a blog is getting very little, then it isn’t.

How can it be manipulated?

Having consistent traffic over a long time period is something that is very difficult to manipulate. Although, for a boost of traffic you can use social media sites to promote your content. Long term consistent traffic will rely on you being successful with many of the factors discussed in this article.

SIX – Technorati Authority

This is a fairly important factor for bloggers. It is calculated using the amount of incoming links or “blog reactions”, where links from higher authority blogs will help your authority more. Although I don’t use Technorati as a blog search engine myself, I am sure if you have a higher authority blog you will pull some traffic from Technorati.

How is it manipulated?

You will often read theories of how “A-List” bloggers, or high authority bloggers tend to link to each other a lot. The idea is that because links from high authority blogs carry greater weight, that if A lister’s keep it to themselves, they will keep the authority amongst themselves and make it more difficult for new blogs to break in. An A list blogger could easily argue that they link to other high authority blogs more often because they have better content. So although I suspect this sort or thing goes on, there is no point complaining about it.

How can you manipulate it?

Not so easily. Although anything that gains you links will help. So blog carnivals, group writing projects, viral link schemes or running competitions all help.

FIVE – Income Generated

Although income generated from your blog is a harsh measure of success, I feel it should rank fairly highly. If your blog makes you thousands, then it is successful. However the opposite doesn’t necessarily apply, as there are many great successful blogs that aren’t in it for money.

How can it be manipulated?

I don’t know, I don’t make money from blogging. Maybe John Chow has some tips for you, although I wouldn’t recommend reading most of what he spouts out on his blog these days. Just because blogging about money makes him money, reading about him doing it won’t make you money, it will only make him more.

FOUR – Social Media (Stumbles, Diggs etc) – An Article Level Rank

Many bloggers are fixated with success on social media sites. There is no doubting that success on these sites can drive a lot of traffic and attention towards your blog. Both of which are important measures of success. So social media success should be considered fairly highly on this list.

How can it be manipulated?

Varying degrees of difficulty. The concept of “Digg Rings” or “Exchanges” suggest that there are other factors at play that help certain content rise to the top. Making friends who are more likely to vote for your content is how many people work the system. Ultimately, content would have to be of a certain quality to get anywhere on popular social media sites, but there are certainly ways that help some do better than others.

THREE – Google Search Rank for a Keyword

Scoring highly with Google on a keyword or phrase can bring your blog a lot of traffic. So using this as a measure of success is useful. How well do you score for important keywords in your niche? This particular concept drives the “Make Money Online” niche, where the key focus seems to be to rank on Google using the aforementioned term.

How can it be manipulated?

Not easily, but in the long term there are plenty of pointers to set you on the right path to success, which is what the SEO niche is based around. Key concepts involve keyword rich anchor text aiming at your site, keyword rich article titles, keyword rich content, keyword rich image alt text, good content structure, good keyword research and much more. I suggest Aaron Wall’s SEO Book blog for great SEO advice.

TWO – Google Page Rank

Google page rank is a form of authority in the search engine world. Having a high page rank gives links from your site more authority. It is one of the factors that will help your pages score well on Google search, and it may help you gain respect from other bloggers.

How can it be manipulated.

Not easily. You need to aim at gaining quality links from high page rank sites,  particularly sites from within your niche, and hopefully using anchor text that includes important keywords or phrases.

ONE – RSS Subscribers On Feedburner

The top of the list has to be RSS subscribers. Having a large list of subscribers guarantees you a level of readership more so than any other factor. At the point of writing this Techcruch has 609,000 subscribers. 609,000 people think that Techcrunch is worth at the very least following, if not reading every article. Having a large RSS readership can and should be a pull for sponsors and advertising. Also because it is so difficult to fake or manipulate it should hold a lot more weight in the future.

How can it be manipulated?

Not easily, which is why it is such a strong metric. However, to ensure you capture as many readers as possible, an easily accessible button or link to your feed is important. Providing a full feed, and not an excerpt will help. Submitting your feed to rss directories may help get you some extra subscribers and it does give your feed a lot of hits on the day you add them.


I know that this article is rather superficial at times, and I haven’t necessarily encompassed all that could be considered success, i.e., enjoyment, comments left, the quality of content to you and your readers etc. However, I have attempted to rank the factors that drive the blogosphere. I hope you find it a useful resource.


7 thoughts on “10 Blog Success Metrics and How They Can be Manipulated”

  1. Great article Simon. For my blog I am focused on the following factors,

    1. Website Traffic – This is the most important metric. How many people are coming to your blog and how many pages are they looking at.
    2. RSS Subscribers – I agree with you that this is the most important metric that you can affect. I also agree that it is the best way to get consistent traffic.
    3. Google Page Rank – However, I have yet to be ranked and no one knows if Google is continuing to update this metric.
    4. Technorati Authority – This is just so easy to see that it is fun to keep checking it.

  2. It wasn’t a superficial post.
    There is simply a lot of ways to measure ‘blog success.’
    But I think you hit on the big ones.

    My biggies are RSS Subscribers, Page hits, and Technorati rank. (Even though all of those are pretty low for me…)

    Keep up the great posts!

  3. Using the word manipulation in the heading and subheadings was more of an attention grabbing technique. All of the suggestions made are above the table type advice. Nothing too sneaky!

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