Tag Archives: BlogBabel

Links and Algorithms behind Blog Statistics: BlogBabel reopens.

I couldn’t help but notice the reopening of Italy’s primary blog classification service, BlogBabel. Just over a year ago I wrote about BlogBabel:

“While it is worth keeping in mind that BlogBabel’s ranking is just one measure of the importance of a particular blog, Ludo deserves kudos for the transparency in which BlogBabel’s rankings are calculated.”

Since then, the ranking factors have changed a bit. Currently BlogBabel says the following parameters are considered1:

BlogBabel Ranking FactorDescriptionWeight
Google PageRankThe “official” global weight Google assigns to a site. (Its worth noting that this is updated only once every 3-4 months and is not what Google uses internally.)1
FeedBurnerNumber of feed subscribers for blogs.0, thus not considered
Link/6Inbound links from posts on other sites, added within the last 6 months.1
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Are we still lying with statistics in the internet age?

In the course of a search engine optimization project, I’m often asked during the competitor analysis phase why one website ranks highly in Alexa, while another ranks highly in an other statistics supplier’s top websites survey.

As our two part article Web statistics for internet market research: pick a number, any number illustrates, there are a plethora of services offering web statistics. Website owners often cite their Alexa rank to demonstrate how much more important their site is compared to a competitor’s. Other website owners will pay for Nielsen//Netratings panel research, a sampling technique born in the 1930s which surveys about 0% of Italy’s adult population – no wonder then the IAB has called this technique outdated.

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Web statistics for internet market research: pick a number, any number

How to perform competitor research using web statistics while avoiding lies, damned lies, and …statistics?

Comparison with competitors is a fundamental element of business; even innovators need to know how far ahead they are in their market. The Internet seems to offer fertile terrain for capturing accurate marketing statistics on website usage and position relative to other players in a given market. Indeed, most of us have often heard web statistics from Nielsen//NetRatings, Alexa or comScore cited in the press and elsewhere. Practitioners of Search Engine Optimization and web marketing know that web analytics is not just silo analysis of a company’s website: it also entails looking at how a website and its business performance metrics measure up in the overall web ecosystem.

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Web Analytics Optimism in Italy

Last November Luca Meyer organized the first Web Analytics Wednesday (WAW) in Milan, in conjunction with the IAB Forum interactive marketing event.

All of six people were present to represent the Internet’s accountability side in Italy. A pitiful number when you consider the thousands of visitors at the IAB Forum.

Since the Milan WAW, Giovanni Lorenzoni has worked to keep the ball rolling by organizing Web Analytics Association / WAW events in Bologna. Yet therein lies the problem: with the apparently small Italian web analytics community spread across the peninsula, significant meet-ups can only occur when there is a critical mass due to an Internet industry event happening at the same time.

Yet a lot has happened in the last six months. Web marketing practitioners, such as my friend Leonardo Bellini, are writing extensively on web analytics. The Italian blogging community has become even more interconnected through the various barcamp events which have provided a needed pretext to meet like-minded folk outside of the ether-sphere.

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Blog statistics with BlogBabel at ZenaCamp in Genoa, Italy

Expats in Italy need to stay on top of professional and daily happenings locally while still engaging in the wider world. This task is made difficult by the vast quantity and quality of resources available in English (my native language), as exemplified by the BBC. Unfortunately, their Italian equivalents, such as the ad-infested public broadcaster RAI, just can’t compete for my attention.

It doesn’t get much easier on the web marketing front. The primary search engines in Italy are the US based Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft Live and Ask, sometimes found in their rebranded skins: Arianna (enhanced by Google) and Virgilio (listed by Google as a customer). Inevitably, most of my web marketing reading is English language centric.

As a side note, Google commands a percentage of the market in most western markets that most politicians can only dream of. Yet the search market remains very dynamic and innovative.

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