Brace yourself, I am about to step outside my comfort zone and give you a peak into the Lunker Hunt back office. This post is not for my fellow anglers, it's for my fellow bloggers and it gets into the nitty-gritty of blogging.
One way to pretend you are attracting new readers is to list your blog on a listing service. It is pretty easy and requires no upkeep. Just create an account using your fake e-mail address and forget about it. LH is listed on a few services and each operates uniquely. Each service provides a rating to be compared against other blogs. A good rating puts you high in the directory and, in theory, generates more traffic. Not surprisingly, I'm most happy with the service that gives me the best rating. So I'll start there...
blogcatalog was the first listing service I signed up for and, as of 16 Aug 2010, LH is not only listed on the first page of blogcatalog's fishing blogs, it is also ranked above blogs I consider vastly superior. The site format is pretty simple and easily navigable, so finding what you're after takes no effort.
What gets you on the first page and 20th from the top? I'm not really sure about the recipe for success here, but I know the ranking slides when I go a few weeks without updating. After a drought the rating immediately rebounds with a single post. So the volume and regularity of your content seems to play a roll, but I'm currently ranked over a few other blogs with gobs and gobs more content. Something else is at play here and I think I'll keep it up....whatever "it" is.
The ranking system on Technorati most resembles a black box. They already knew about LH and all I had to do was "claim it," which I did about a year ago. My blog is currently ranked #11536 (good luck finding that in the master list...I can't) and has an "authority" of 419. I can not find an angling specific category, so that may be the fundamental flaw in their system. #11536 out of all blogs may not be bad, but you are better off somewhere else if you want blogs relevant to your interests.
Sorry about the caturday pic. I couldn't resist, now back to it....I'm not really sure how to improve the Technorati ranking, but I've discovered cross links controls authority. Not all cross links are created equally; blog roll links don't seem to effect authority. How authority plays into rank is unclear, but one thing is clear: Technorati generates about zero traffic for this site.
I recently signed up for Blogged after reading a post at Troutrageous. Without much experience, I'm forced to draw conclusions with minimal knowledge. Here is what I know so far: they have a nice graphic to show your rating. The LH rating, as of press time, is "based on editor's review" and is good enough to score a spot on page seven (of nine) in their fishing directory. The only baseline I have is the Troutrageous post, where a lofty 7.5 (very good) was revealed.
The "editor's review" was brief, as evidenced by a single hit on my stat service. The editor viewed my front page for an undisclosed amount of time and never viewed the archive or any other link. Time will tell how the Blogged rating will change or if it even will. Time will also tell if any traffic clicks through, but I remain hopeful they provide a better service than Technorati.
I'm about 90% sure the total traffic generated from all these services to all of their listed blogs is negligible. I'm 99% sure it is negligible for fishing blogs and 100% sure it is negligible for this blog. As you can see in the first screen shot, LH has scored a total of 133 hits from blogcatalog. I believe this is over a two year period, which averages out to 0.0009 hits per day even though LH is the "20th best" fishing blog they have listed.
I am curious to hear your experience, is it similar? Is it worth our time to worry about this, or should we generate traffic the old fashioned way? Maybe I'll purchase some radio time, maybe even some billboard space.