I cannot understand why Ad Age has decided to adopt Alexa as a metric.
It is well known that Alexa has a strong bias towards tech and especially, as Naked PR eloquently states, webmasters. Furthermore, the Alexa ranking is given a score of 30. This gives it twice as much influence than Bloglines and places it on an equal footing with Technorati authority.
When I first put together the PowerPR index – which I’m considering renaming because quite frankly I’m not sure I want it to be associated with the Power150 in any form now – I tried replicating its Bloglines scores but found I was unable to do so. This is why I abandoned Bloglines, because I can’t trust it.
Furthermore, the Alexa scores were not at all comprehensive. So it goes even further than bias in any direction: a lot of blogs simply don’t have an Alexa ranking at all.
This is why I’ve deliberately chosen metrics that by and large, all if not the vast majority of blogs have. And the most recent enhancement, of including ‘time-based’ metrics such as the Google Blog Scores for the past month and Blogpulse over the past 180 days, seemed to me the natural way to go. If I’m to use freely available metrics then it made sense to reward blogs for being recently active and ‘buzzworthy’ as well as having legacy scores by dint of longevity.
The best attempt at providing a table of PR blogs that I’ve seen came from Onalytica. Having met Flemming Madsen I have some insight into the tried and tested statistical methods he uses, over time, to monitor influence by measuring inputs to blogs as well as outputs and using automated sentimenting to crunch through the numbers. It’s a pity that his first attempt exhibited some errors in the sample set of blogs he chose: I would love to see him have another stab at it. (Flemming, where are you?)
I’d also love it if someone like Flemming could see their way to providing online tools, free for all to use, that give limited access to their functionality, much in the same way Buzzmetrics do with their Blogpulse tools. I envisage a dashboard in which users can assemble their own league tables which analyse blogs using a standardised, statistically proven method of ranking. Then we’d really be getting somewhere, and Onalytica would rapidly build up a dedicated community of fellow measurement nuts.