The Power150 goes from strength to strength

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Todd Andrlik’s Power150 ranking of top marketing blogs is joining forces with Advertising Age, the world’s leading marketing and media publication.

It looks like his metrics will be used as the editorial benchmark when referencing bloggers in print and online (quite literally looks like it – that’s what the pullquote graphic says).

Todd’s inspired a plethora of other tables, including my own PowerPR index which stepped on his toes a bit, although I’ve moved away from his metrics somewhat. I could never replicate his bloglines figures nor did I really take to his subjective ‘Todd And’ rating which I don’t think has a place in any objective index. Perhaps that will now be removed, or formalised more. Perhaps, like me, Todd will start to bring in more metrics such as Google Blog mentions which I think are valid counterparts to Yahoo Links. I’d also like to see more ongoing stats showing risers, fallers, and perhaps the weekly highest risers and fallers and most active blogs. Not that this is trading, you understand, but a snapshot of the state of the PR blogosphere. Not so much an index as a weather forecast, perhaps.

What does this mean for my own lowly attempts to create my own index? It was never intended to compete with the Power150 – nor could it, because his is totally automated and updated daily whereas mine has been compiled manually although I’m working on a rudimentary form of automation right now. I think I can still get value from what I’m doing (so long as the software I’m using holds up – it already looks like it might not be up to the job), not least for myself personally to gain an insight into the idea of influence vs popularity which is what I set out to do in the first place. If I find it becomes too onerous a task – and part of me suspects this is why Todd’s getting backing for his index – I can always switch to compiling a smaller copywriting index of my very own instead.

But mostly I hope the Power150 does become a benchmark. We need one. And if Advertising Age endorses his, then I hope we all will. It might settle some arguments about how exactly to measure this strange blogosphere of ours and whereas I have recently sunk from 255 to 267 on the ‘honourable mentions‘ list, at least it’s honourable.

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4 thoughts on “The Power150 goes from strength to strength

  1. I really hope that most people in the industry are intelligent enough to understand that all of these ranking systems are entirely faulty, because nearly every one of their ranking criteria revolves around heavily manipulated information. On the PR side of things, a lot of us are blind to that fact, because we’re simply not aware of how the SEOs and Internet marketing people are out there using them… we’re only familiar with how they can benefit us, and we give them far more credibility than most deserve.

    Unfortunately, given current models it looks like we’ll never see something in the Marketing / Advertising / PR realm that can really serve as any kind of “authority” list. Creating these things has become popular these days more because they act as linkbait for the creator’s own sites (not saying it’s your own intention, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s had that effect for you). Frankly, people are naive, and they’ll believe these things just because they don’t know any better. So it’s not like they’ll go away.

    What I’d personally prefer to see is a comprehensive industry survey if we’re going to talk about things like honest reach and influence (weeding out spammed links, useless manipulated traffic, etc.). Then again, until the bulk of PR practitioners actually understand online PR, we really won’t see that in this industry.

    Good luck with your own tool, and keep on tweaking it. Just keep in mind that Technorati and other tools are becoming useless in rankings due to mass manipulation of buying, selling, and trading favorites and similar tactics to artificially pump up stats and ratings. If you’re able to stay on top of those types of issues, you’ll be able to continually improve your index, and with any luck be the first to end up “getting it right.” 🙂

  2. I accept that the metrics used in these indexes aren’t ideal. However, not all of us have access to dedicated server farms and sophisticated sentimenting techniques – or, indeed, the time or money – that enable us to perform really meaningful analysis. That’s the job of real experts such as Onalytics and BuzzMetrics and I would hope, as you say, that PR people would have the intelligence to refer to them for professional results.

    So what else can we do? I think that comparing apples with pears is the really fruitless (sorry) exercise. At least within a well-defined sphere of influence – PR, copywriting, classic car maintenance, knitting – I think it’s interesting to get an idea of the state of the blogosphere given the metrics available to us. Even if it’s a very rough indication, without such information I wouldn’t know whether to approach Micropersuasion or Spudgun for an influential voice. At least subject-specific indexes help with that.

    My take on it is by analogy to share prices. There are many, many dynamics underlying a price and a good trader would take them into account (which is why I’ve previously touted the idea of sentimenting systems working alongside purely number-crunching systems to augment trading performance). However, it’s commonly accepted that ‘the price’ of a share represents all those dynamics wrapped into one figure, and meaningful inferences can be made and strategies based upon that single figure. Whether a share is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depends on what you want to do with it.

    Likewise, whereas the PowerPR index might indicate that Micropersuasion is a big player, it also shows that there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit out there which might be more suitable for a PR person to approach for a campaign.

    It could be that in a year’s time there will be something better available. Meanwhile, indexes have to use what is available. That’s why I’m trying to use as many metrics as I can so that differences between them can be accounted for. If one blog does well with Google Blog hits but not so well with Yahoo Links then at least I’ve included both. As for changing the index to ‘get it right’, well then I lose the value in comparing from month to month.

    I also think the sum total of these metrics could make for interesting analysis. The recent analysis of whether PR blogging is declining is a case in point: if over a period of time it looks like the total number of hits is reducing or increasing, then at least that tells us something about the PR blogosphere.

    And if it doesn’t then at least it provides an interesting debate about why not.

  3. Who doesn’t love classic cars? Seems everybody does and hollywood has jumped on the bandwagon too. You see them in just about every movie and TV show now.

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