Leading Average: Top Blog Trends 12 November, 2006 — Stuart Brown

Common traits of the top few blogs

Posted in Blogs & Blogging, Analysis
Tagged with: , , , , ,

The best blogs all have a quite few things in common - regular, well written content and a large number of subscribers are base requisites for a Technorati Top 100 Blog. But what other traits do these select few blogs share?

Blogging Software

The software that a blog runs on is key to the presentation and features available, and there are a multitude of different applications available, all with their own respective pros and cons. It is perhaps unsurprising that almost half of the Top 100 blogs run on specialized (or heavily customised) software - high traffic demands and specific needs are common within the top few blogs.

blog trends - software

Movable Type is also a popular choice, offering a wealth of now-standard tools for blogging, including trackbacks, and the usual host of comments, categorization etc. Perhaps the major advantage of Movable Type is the extensive customizations and stylistical changes that can be made.

Wordpress boasts many similarities to Movable Type, with perhaps one major advantage - it's free. Similar levels of customization can be made, and there are a multitude of themes that can be installed to customise the look of a blog.

Hosted services such as TypePad, Blogger, and MySpace also feature in the Top 100 blogs, although they tend to be less customizable, they are considerably easier to set up.


Blogging is big business these days, and most (79%) of the Top 100 blogs had some form of advertising. A mere 21% had no explicit advertising at all.

blog trends - advertising

he most popular form of monetization is the ubiquitous Google Adsense, appearing on 24% of the Top 100. Easy to set up, and with a large catalog of advertisers, it's a common choice.

BlogAds and DoubleClick constituted a relatively significant portion of ads, with Federated Media et al lagging behind.


The blogosphere is largely dominated by English language sites, but Japan and China have a reasonable representation. Spanish, Farsi (Persian), French, Russian and Taiwanese constitute the remaining 7%.

blog trends - language


Technology leads the way in terms of topics - blogging is dominated by the likes of Gizmodo and Engadget, Technology obviously being a popular topic amongst early adopters and otherwise techy types.

blog trends - topic

Genre-busting 'General' blogs covering a broader range of topics are second in popularity, followed by a mass of (chiefly American) political blogs. Personal blogs weigh in at a mere 9% of the top 100, despite the blogosphere consisting of mostly personal material. Gossip and News feature quite prominently, followed by a mixed bag of miscellany for the last 17%.

Background Colour

An overwhelming majority of 47% of the top 100 blogs opt for a plain white background - simple, clean, and consistent with current design trends. Neutrals are a popular choice, it would seem, with grey being second choice.

blog trends - background

Blue is another safe choice - with 1 in 6 blogs choosing an azure tone for their backdrop. Pink, black, beige and green are rank outsiders, with the remnant consisting a mere 3%.

Body Typeface

Unsurprisingly, given the limited choice of fonts available on the web, certain choices are very popular - Verdana is used as a body font in 43% of the Top 100 blogs.

blog trends - font

Helvetica rip-off Arial, stylish serif Georgia and Trebuchet take the next 3 positions, with erstwhile favourite Times used in just 5% of the blogs.

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