Quick n’dirty blog analysis

So, you’ve been asked to provide a list of, say, between ten and 20 blogs for a given topic. You have absolutely no idea what the blogosphere is like for that topic and the client’s calling you in an hour for results.

Do this:

  1. Go to http://www.makemyreport.com/ and type in your topic terms.
  2. Note the top few terms from the Word Relative Associativity Analysis that appears at the end of the report.
  3. Go to Google Blog Search at http://blogsearch.google.com/
  4. Type in your search terms from step 2.
  5. Click ‘Search Blogs’.
  6. Copy the ‘related blogs’ that appear at the top of the search results (should be about four or five-ish).
  7. Paste that list somewhere, eg Excel.
  8. Go to Technorati at http://www.technorati.com/.
  9. For each blog, copy its web address, and paste it into the ‘search for’ field at the top of Technorati, and click ‘Search’.
  10. In the search results, to the right, you’ll see a little panel that shows a small preview of the site, and some accompanying statistics. The one you want from this is Authority. This tells you how many other blogs link to it. It’s an indicator of popularity and, given your timescale, a very rough indicator of influence. Type that authority figure next to the blog in Excel.

When you’ve done all this you can rank the blogs according to their authority and take the most authoritative.

For example, if the word ‘design’ was what you were after, Google Blog Search (http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=design) gives you these blogs:

– Styleshout.com – Latest free templates from styleshout.com
– Solostream – WordPress Themes. Blog Design. WordPress Blog Design. – http://www.solostream.com/
– Design*Sponge – http://designsponge.blogspot.com/
– N.Design Studio – Blog & Design – Design portfolio and blog of Nick La
– 2803 design | Le blog sur les produits déco et design – 2803 design est un blog sur le design produit et la décoration. L’objectif de ce blog est de présenter des produits ou concepts très design.

Then, from Technorati, for the first of these (http://www.technorati.com/blogs/www.styleshout.com/?reactions), the authority figure is 1,920 right now. In other words, 1,920 blogs link to it.

Let’s take a complementary phrase, for example ‘design’. Google Blog Search gives you these blogs:

– ModernArtNotes – http://modernartnotes.blogspot.com/
– MODERN ART – Days of Brandy and Jazz… The life that is unhealthy even if I take it^^;
– Modern Plein Air – http://pleinairlandscapes.blogspot.com/
– Black Cat Bone – Burning The Flesh Off Modern Art – http://blackcatbone.blogspot.com/
– new modern art painting on canvas – http://modern-art-painting.blogspot.com/

This time, take the Black Cat Bone blog. Copy its URL, go to Technorati, paste it into the search for field, and the results (http://www.technorati.com/blogs/blackcatbone.blogspot.com?reactions) tell us that it has an authority of 19, that is, a lot less than the design blog we just found.

So in this example, styleshout would offer more bangs for the buck than the Black Cat Bone blog.

There are many more searches you can do, and many more metrics, and ideally you would spend at least a week monitoring these blogs and others through an aggregator such as Google Reader to really get to grips with whether or not they’re useful. But if you’ve got to pull the (black) cat out of the bag, and you really don’t know where to begin, this is the quick n’dirty way to pull a list together.

More tips:

  • Try looking through Google as well as Google Blog Search. It’s quite good at picking up results from blog.co.uk if you’re after UK-based blogs especially.
  • If you don’t get the ‘authority’ figure when you search in Technorati, try searching for the blog URL *without* the final slash. For example, instead of searching for http://blackcatbone.blogspot.com/, search for http://blackcatbone.blogspot.com.
  • Iterate on step 1 using different search terms – that’ll give you different blogs.
  • Actually visit each blog you find from step 1 and look for what’s called the ‘blogroll’. This is a section on the blog that lists other blogs they link to. It might also be called ‘Links’. This will give you more blogs to add to your list which you can be fairly sure are relevant, because the blog you’re looking at has chosen to link to them.

Good luck! 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Quick n’dirty blog analysis

  1. Pingback: links for 2007-11-28 « media mindshare: news media, technology & media relations

  2. Pingback: Loving Links « The Rosemont Loving

  3. Impressive stuff. It still really annoys me that Google haven’t taken the time to add a similar authority type feature to its Blog Search tool. I love technorati but I’d prefer a one stop shop.

    So do you use this as a first introduction to the online world for your clients?

  4. I am frequently asked about how to compile lists of blogs and I decided to formalise and (grossly) simplify what I do, especially when pressed for time. It would be an interesting client presentation though, I agree. It could be a good taster for then going on to discuss further metrics.

    I guess Google’s ‘authority’ is its PageRank. Personally what I’d like to see is a tool that enables users to pull together whatever metrics they want to monitor any website or blog. One day…

  5. Pingback: The Marketing Blagger » Blog Archive » What’s The Deal with Blogger PR?

  6. I am interested to do a content analysis research on blogs pertaining to a certain topic for example politic. So, what are the best methodology can I use to to take the blogs as research samples from blogsphere.

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