One ranking does not fit all

Coaching. Business Background.Does a high page ranking mean that you are a trustworthy blogger? What are the minimum standards before you are considered one?

A blog’s page ranking (based on factors such as loading speed, linking, popularity, etc) may not matter to the reader.

A reader looks at a blog’s unique, trustworthy, and quality content. That is more important than page ranking.

Move over page rankings and make way for the facts!

From the New Scientist: “A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page.” Popularity is out, trust is in.

A blog’s reputation hinges on several factors such as popularity of the topic, strong social media presence, the blogger themselves, the lively comments, give-aways, competitions, free downloads, and much more. Reputation is important but so is the blog’s topic.

Speculation, gossip, and conspiracy theory based stories are popular reads but how trustworthy are those posts? They may have a great reputation to entertain, yes. If you measure that they will soar to the top rankings. If you calculate the facts their ranking will most likely plummet.

One ranking system does not fit all

Ranking blogs, even if by fact, will always contain a subjective element. If you are in the mood for a bit of light reading, some blogs are better suited than others. Most likely you search for what is popular irrespective of page/fact ranking.

If you are researching a subject for a paper or thesis, you want facts supported by resource listing and other reference materials. You will pay attention to the fact ranking and value that as an indicator that time spent on that blog is time spend wisely.

In other words, ranking all blogs with one measurement will not give the reader a true measure of the blog’s reputation, usefulness, or trustworthiness. It must be regarded and compared to others within its own niche or genre.

Problem areas

The blog’s theme, topic, or niche is key. A travel blog has a mixture of facts and personal observations. The facts are clear: continent, country’s name, locations, distances, etc. But all the reviews and recommendations are subjective. Just travel with children and you will see soon enough why you needed to read the reviews from other parents first. And that’s without touching on issues such as budget and labeling something “worth your money.”

Fiction blogs are a result of the writer’s imagination. The writer can be inspired by a true case, a political character, etc. But that’s where any resemblance to reality or fact can end. How do you rank that? And what about paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction writing? A great writer can make up a whole universe.

Cartoon and Manga based blogs are another area where personal preference determine whether the blog is a success or not. The drawing style is another crucial element. Those who do not draw themselves may not recognize the hard labor involved. Those who do draw are in a better place to value such a blog. But again, it remains their opinion. Some blogs have a cult following and are not popular by mainstream standards at all. How will they get ranked by a fact-based algorithm?

Is ranking really that important or is it more important that you are a serious blogger?

Improve your blog

ProBlogger has a good article with tips to improve your blog. A well-built blog means that a serious blogger is behind it. The article lists issues and gives you an overview of how to tackle them and how to improve the overall quality of your blog. One thing I’d like to add is a mission statement.

Please also check that your blog is mobile friendly as Google values that too and made it a part of its ranking system. You may need to update your theme or pick a new one. Make sure it says that theme is responsive e.g. mobile/tablet friendly.

Mission Statements

A mission statement is a text widget in the margin that explains at-a-glance what the blog’s purpose is, why it was started, and what the blogger wishes to achieve.

For example, on my blog Defrosting Cold Cases the mission statement reads: “This resource blog [e.g. not written for entertainment purposes] profiles cold cases to give the victims a bigger digital footprint [e.g. recognizing the importance of having an online presence]We must ensure that those developing new technologies can find these old cases [many old cold cases do not have a web presence, newspapers are not always scanned in or available on microfilm at public libraries] to see if preserved evidence can be tested with new technology. I also blog about wrongful convictions [because without the exonerated person you end up with a cold case unless other DNA was found].”

My mission statement tells you why I blog and what I wish to achieve. It indicates the seriousness of the content and reflects on my intentions as a blogger. If you are drawn to unsolved homicides there are many blogs, websites, movies, etc out there. How do you determine their ranking? By the money they generate? What if the blog’s goal is not to generate money? And how do you compare an independent blog without ads to a blog attached to a broadcasting company or movie industry?

Your turn:

  • Do you have a mission statement on your blog?
  • Do you read certain blogs more often because of their page ranking?
  • Do you check page rankings before you read?
  • If a blog has no ranking do you disregard it?
  • How do you feel about changing from popularity to fact as ranking tool?

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