What does it take to be in 9rules? 2 February, 2007 — Stuart Brown
A selection of vital statistics from the blogging network
Popular blogging network 9rules (of which Modern Life is a part) comprises of a few hundred blogs, hand-picked for quality content. For some bloggers, the leaf ident is a badge of honour - the window for applications is but once or twice a year, and lasts just 24 hours, and many are turned away - so the general quality of sites in the network is maintained.
It follows, then, that there are some popular sites in the network - good pagerank, healthy traffic and a plentitude of inbound links and subscribers are the hallmark of a quality blog - so I was curious enough to collect data on the network in a variety of areas to see where the spread of sites was within the network.
Of course, I'm not implying PageRank, traffic, subscribers, or Technorati rank are determining factors in 9rules applications. The secret is - and always has been - well written, quality content that's regularly refreshed. The statistics here, then, perhaps show the effects of such content - and reflect the state of the 9rules network as a whole.
The statistics were pulled from publicly available sources (notably the Google & Alexa toolbars, Technorati and the Bloglines subscriber stats) on the 7th January 2007 - some of the figures will be a little different now. With hundreds of sites to sift through, there may well be some errors or inconsistencies, but every effort has been made to ensure the validity of the data.
First metric, then, is Google's own PageRank - an often lambasted but interesting indicator of the relative 'weight' of a page in the search engines. There is a healthy spread of PR, from sites with no PR (new sites or otherwise unranked sites), through to 1 site with a mighty PR8 (influential web expert Molly Holzschlag). The modal (most often occurring in the set) PR was an impressive PR5 - and the mean average still a healthy PR4.
N.B. Where PageRank was equal, Alexa rankings were used as a secondary ranking factor.
Alexa Ranking Overview
Derided to the same extent as PageRank, Alexa traffic rank gives a reasonable indication of how much traffic a site receives. With millions of sites on the internet all competing for traffic, anything within the top 100,000 is pretty good - and 22.8% of all 9rulers fall within this set. The top 10,000 sites consist of those which get serious traffic levels - tens of thousands of visitors daily, most likely - and 2.1% of the 9rules network maintains this sort of impressive traffic.
Top 10 by Alexa Ranking
Bloglines Subscribers Overview
With good content often follows a sizeable readership, and the publicly available subscriber stats at Bloglines are a generally consistent means of estimating the amount of RSS subscribers a given site has. From my own experience with RSS, Bloglines typically accounts for 20% of total readership, so we can get a (rough) estimate of total RSS consumption from this figure.
Total readership across the 9rules network is 28,130 subscribers via Bloglines (est. 140K total) - most of the sites tend to have a few, with a few larger sites bringing up the mean (it's the long tail in action). This means that the mean is a healthy 82 (est. 77) subscribers - but the median is a much lower 9 (est. 45).
Top 10 by Bloglines Subscribers
Technorati Ranking Overview
Technorati does a fairly good job of indexing links within the blogosphere - and provides a ranking method for blogs, based on recent linking activity to the blog in question. As with Alexa rankings, there are millions of sites in contention, but as there are fewer blogs than websites in general, 57.1% of 9rules sites fall in the top 100,000 blogs. A healthy 15.8% fall in the top 10,000, and 4.6% in the illustrious top 1,000.
Most surprising of all, perhaps, is the presence of a couple of 9rulers in the top 100. Don't look on the top 100 blogs listing though - you won't find them. It would appear that Technorati filter out sites who gain large amounts of inbound links from Wordpress templates - and it just so happens a couple of 9rulers have constructed some very popular WP styles. So, the secret to breaking the Technorati top 100? Create a Wordpress template, and get thousands of blogs to use it. The only trouble is you'll be filtered out of the top blog listings.
So there it is - a fairly comprehensive overview of some of the publicly available metrics for websites. It is nice to see that, although 9rules does have a lot of authorative sites with considerable weight, there is a good spread of sites, with a lot of smaller fish swimming amongst the larger ones. It's good to see this lack of particular bias for any size of site - some of the smaller sites serve a particular niche, and it's certainly no reflection of a lack in quality content.