Flea Enterprises

New Tots100 Metrics from May 2013

February 24th, 2013

tots100 metrics explained

The Tots100 is the UK’s largest community of active parent blogs, with listings for around 5,000 independent Mum and Dad bloggers.

For around four years now, we’ve been tracking the popularity, influence and engagement of the blogs in our community, using the same basic set of metrics: Google, Technorati, Twitter and – more recently – SEOMoz.

Over time, the metrics we use change – some because less reliable or relevant, while some disappear entirely.

To ensure we continue to reflect the popularity, influence and engagement of the parent blogs in our community, we constantly monitor our metrics, and look for ways to improve them.

From April 2013, we are therefore making a number of changes to the way we rank blogs on Tots100 (and on our sister site, Foodies100).

What will change

The first change is that we will no longer use Technorati to measure your site. We are receiving an increasing number of reports of members having problems using the site, and we feel it is no longer doing what we want it to do.

The second change is that we are introducing a new metric to measure activity on Twitter – Kred.  Along with Klout, which we already use as part of our calculations, Kred will give us an insight into how active your blog is on Twitter.

The third change is that we are introducing a brand new metric to the index – the number of unique visits and page impressions on your site each month.

what we will measure:

Each month the Tots100 will measure:  

  • Your Klout score 
  • Your Kred outreach score multiplied by your influence score
  • Links to your site from blogs indexed by Google
  • Links to your site in the past 30 days from blogs indexed by Google
  • Inbound links to your site tracked by SEOMoz
  • Your SEOMozRank
  • Subscribers to your blog via Google Reader (this metric will discontinue when Google Reader is phased out this summer)
  • Unique visits to your site per month and pages viewed per visitor

Why does this mean for you? 

First and foremost, it means your Tots100 ranking will be a better reflection of your site’s popularity, influence and engagement. Second, it means that as your site traffic grows, you are a lot more likely see that reflected in your Tots100 rank.

Remember, these changes won’t come into effect for another month – so the next set of charts (published in March) will look much the same as usual. But our April charts will incorporate these new metrics and will be based on data collected during March – so we want to ensure everyone is aware of the changes BEFORE March 1st.

How do you measure my blog traffic?

We have developed a system that will measure your blog traffic via your Tots100 blog badge. If you don’t currently have a blog badge, you can download one from your Tots100 account. If you prefer not to display a badge, it’s not a requirement but your rank will be a little less accurate as a result.

Don’t worry if your blog is on Blogger and has a number of URLs depending on visitor location or if your blog is sometimes viewed at a ‘www’ address and sometimes not – we’ll be able to pick up all of those visitors.

Do I need to do anything?

totsmetrics2

The addition of Kred to our metrics means it’s more important than ever to ensure we have the correct, current Twitter ID for your account – we ran a test of accounts recently and found up to 10% had incorrect Twitter details. Why not check yours today? In particular, make sure you don’t add an “@” in the Twitter box on your profile – it’s not needed.

You might also want to add a Tots100 badge on your site, ideally somewhere on your home page. If you don’t have your badge displayed and would like to add one, then you can log in to grab the code. There’s a video tutorial here for anyone unsure of how to add their badge, which demonstrates how to add badges to both Blogger and WordPress blogs. Having a badge isn’t essential, but it does allow us to incorporate traffic data into your monthly scores.

The information we collect via the badges is anonymous, and works in a similar way to Google Analytics and advertising trackers. We won’t have the ability to identify any individual visiting your site, and all data will be discarded after one month. We advise using a privacy policy if you monitor your blog traffic in any way – if you don’t already have a privacy policy, you can find a template here.

We also recommend ALL Tots100 bloggers do some basic checks on their account – make sure your URL is correct and up to date, ensure you have a link to your RSS feed on your blog home page, submit your blog to Google if it’s not being indexed, and create a blog sitemap to help with better indexing. If you’re unsure on ANY of those things, do ask us and we’ll be happy to help. Having an up-to-date profile means the best score possible – and more relevant opportunities from brands and PR agencies.

If you don’t want Tots100 to measure your traffic, then we suggest using one of our non-personalised badges in place of the personalised badge – you can find a range of Tots100 badges here.

Some things you don’t need to do: 

  • Panic. 
  • Register with anyone – we can collect scores from Kred and Klout for all bloggers unless you specifically opt out of those sites 

I have a question!

If you have any comments or concerns, please do leave any questions in the comments on this post and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.

Confused? We will have a brand new tutorial video in the coming weeks demonstrating the new metrics in action, and we’ll be updating all the relevant pages on the website very soon.

 

 



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About 

Sally Whittle is founder of the Tots100, Foodies100, BlogSummit and the MAD Blog Awards. When she’s not working, she can be found blogging at Who’s the Mummy, or having fun with her 8 year old daughter, Flea.

49 Comments

  1. Posted 25 February 2013 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    I think I may have t hug you for removing Technorati from the scores! Will be interesting to see how the new metrics change things.

  2. Posted 25 February 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    The days of me ranking in the top ten died when I moved blogs. And I wouldn’t be able to tell you where I ranked these days. However I do think its a bit of a shame you are putting even more increased value on twitter.

    Ultimately it doesn’t have anything to do with a actual blog, and is becoming increasingly less relevant to many people.

    Saying that, as I say, I don’t really feel that passionate about it. And the measuring page hits is a good thing (although you should outline how to do this without having to put the badge on a blog as it may not fit the aesthetics of many sites)

    • Posted 25 February 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Hi Dan,

      Twitter is still used by 99% of Tots100 bloggers according to our most recent surveys, so I’m not sure it’s less relevant to people compared to other social networks – although it’s something we’ll keep an eye on naturally. In terms of tracking, the only way we’re able to do this accurately is with a Tots100 badge so we do recommend people use one if they’d like their traffic scores to be taken into account when we draw up the ranks – but it’s not a requirement of membership by any means :)

      • Posted 26 February 2013 at 2:01 am | Permalink

        You could of course monitor stats by a bit of code or a 1×1 pixel graphic inserted into the sidebar without that big garish tots 100 button. After all other stat counting services do it that way. But I appreciate you’ll want to reward those who promote the index.

        As for twitter, I don’t doubt that the majority of tots100 bloggers use it to promote their site. But that’s not a measure of general influence – just a measure of influence within the circle jerk. I don’t object to it being taken into account – but I think you should be wary of giving it too much emphasis.

        • Posted 26 February 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          We could Dan, but it would be difficult for a number of reasons – it would mean generating 5,000+ individual graphics and asking users to add them, as well as ensuring we validate each image. Given our badges already do this, it’s easier all round! You’re free to resize the image on your own site, if you choose to.

  3. Posted 25 February 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I agree with Dan re Twitter but I do understand that alot of bloggers use it, I just don’t have time for it ;) but klout and kred measure facebook interactions too, don’t they? so its not all about Twitter… I do however think its a great idea to measure page hits, will be intresting to see what happens with the scores!

  4. Posted 25 February 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Very welcome news! I was just thinking about monitoring traffic yesterday. Off to check my profile, as you know I got it wrong once and made a huge difference. ;-)

  5. Posted 25 February 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    This sounds a fair measure to me, only klout I dislike as it favours blogger blogs and will not recognize self hosted blogs but nothing is perfect and kred will help compensate. Thanks TOTS for being up to date and keeping things relevant and fair.

    • Posted 25 February 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Klout measures self-hosted blogs along with Blogger blogs – there may be another issue at play if you’re having problems getting a Klout score, have you asked the company?

      • Posted 27 February 2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        I went to Klout to see if I could add my self hosted wordpress blog, but it only lets us add wordpress.com blogs not self hosted. Have I missed where to add it – it is late?

        • Posted 27 February 2013 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

          I think I just figured it out though it was a bit scary letting Klout log into my site.

          • Posted 28 February 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

            You don’t need to let Klout log into your site if you choose not to – your score is by default based solely on your Twitter activity, and therefore public data – so if it makes you uncomfortable to authorise the site to access other social networks you might use, then you can safely unlink them and revoke those permissions. You honestly don’t need to *do* anything for Klout – we’ve been using it quite happily as a metric for a couple of years now, without people needing to have registered :)

        • Posted 28 February 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          Klout is primarily a way of tracking Twitter activity so we’d advise leaving it at that rather than adding in lots of other networks.

  6. Posted 25 February 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I am a tad disappointed that your google+ following is not being measured, I have made a huge effort to build that up and removed google reader from my blog to encourage google+ followers instead.
    que sera as they say.
    Never really understood how it all worked anyway but somehow manage to stay within top 5% regardless.

    • Posted 25 February 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Interesting point Elaine – at this stage, less than 5% of our members are actively using g+ so it isn’t yet a useful measure of influence but it’s certainly something we’ll keep an eye on going forward.

  7. Posted 25 February 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    How are you intending to measure unique visits? Out of interest :)

    • Posted 25 February 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Hi Alex, we’ll be measuring in a similar way to services like Google Analytics by measuring the number of different users visiting a site.

  8. Posted 25 February 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Morning.

    So do I need to place a ‘personalised’ badge on my blog for accurate measuring? You mean the one that announces to the world that I’m ranked no. 30000000,666004?

    Or thereabouts.

    • Posted 25 February 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Morning Liz

      You’ll find only the top 250 blogs now have badges that display the score while the others are just generic, but yes, you’ll need your personalised badge on the site as that allows us to link the traffic we track to your specific account.

  9. Posted 25 February 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Thank the evil Overlord for this . as Technorati has been as bane in my life.

    • Posted 25 February 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      You’re more than welcome ;-)

    • Posted 27 February 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      I also hate technorati, will be good to see the back of it.

  10. Posted 25 February 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the email about this…. my twitter ID was indeed out of date.

    And just wondering, if I don’t use kred/klout myself, does that matter?

  11. Lee
    Posted 25 February 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    In the same way other trackers accomplish it, couldn’t you simply use a Javascript snippet to track the traffic? It could be added by everyone regardless of platform, and gets around the whole aesthetics issue.

    • Posted 25 February 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Hi Lee – interesting point, thanks. Over the years we’ve looked at a number of ways to track traffic, including our own and third party tracking tools. We’ve opted to use the badges for a number of reasons – most of our members already have them, they work on all blog platforms, each badge is automatically linked to a specific user account, and we have a mechanism in place that verifies each badge/member during the sign-up process. Best of all, most of our members won’t have to make any change to their site for us to be able to start tracking.

  12. Posted 25 February 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Presumably you would need to amend wording where we get our badge code to reflect that you will now be using that in order to track our unique visits? (Just thinking out loud, I actually have no idea!)

    • Posted 25 February 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the site’s terms and conditions and privacy policy will be updated so people know what we’re doing and as we say, it’s optional rather than a requirement, but it’s important YOU understand what you’re consenting to, and also that your site visitors are also aware of the changes.

  13. Posted 25 February 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Hiya, I have the TOTS100 badge on my blog already, do I need to update it? And will my rank still show up on the badge even though the rank probably won’t be very high? I hope I make sense, lol.

    • Posted 7 April 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Hi Sarah, no your current Tots100 badge will still work in exactly the same way, as will the score display :)

  14. Posted 26 February 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    For Klout, how do you access the data for my blog? Do I have to authorise you to access my information or have a particular privicy setting set? If so, how do I do that?! It’s not obvious on the site.

    Thank you!

    • Posted 26 February 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      Hi

      Klout is a public website that simply looks at your activity on certain social networks – any member of the public (including us) can access that score. We’ve been using Klout as a metric for several years now and you don’t need to do anything like register or authorise the site (although if you prefer for Klout not to score you, then you can opt out of that site entirely)

  15. Posted 27 February 2013 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Off to check profile and worried that I still get the giggles when your called The Evil Overlord

  16. Posted 14 March 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I have just seen they are getting rid of Google Reader this year, how will this affect our tots 100 scores please x

    • Posted 20 March 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking the same!

      • Posted 31 March 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        I was also wondering this… google reader is about to be kaput. Will that mean another rejig of the scores?

    • Posted 6 April 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      I was wondering that too

      • Posted 7 April 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Obviously, we can’t use Google Reader as a metric so it will be removed once it’s removed as a service. We use Google Reader as a measure of your site’s audience and now we’re using actual traffic as a metric, it’s no longer esssential to measure RSS subscribers, so we’ll simply remove it rather than replace it with anything in particular.

  17. Posted 20 March 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi thanks for all this info.
    Is there a tutorial about ” submit your blog to Google if it’s not being indexed, and create a blog sitemap to help with better indexing” please – as that is over my head.
    I can’t figure how to get people to flow by googlle reader – and it says it’s going in the summer. But again am a google plus user. Again I use 2 e-mail accounts so not sure whether this will impact on me, or if it’s just on my username,.

    • Posted 7 April 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      We’re working on a tutorial and it should be live in the next few days – it’s not so hard but it can be a bit fiddly.

      In terms of tracking Google Reader, you can’t really *get* people to follow you using it as it’s just a software app used to read RSS feeds. In the same way someone might use Picmonkey or Paint or Photoshop, someone might use Feedly, or Google Reader, or something else.

      The reason we track Google Reader is simply because a) it’s the most widely used reader and b) it is the only one that makes it subscriber numbers public – so we can make a fair comparison between blogs based on their number of subscribers.

      All that said, Google Reader is being phased out, and when that happens, we’ll be removing it from our calculations.

  18. Posted 21 March 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    So glad you are going to stop using Technorati. I have been trying to get that to work for a year now and finally given up on it! Good news x

  19. Posted 7 April 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Hi
    I had 2 quick questions – at the moment I just have the Tots 100 “Top 50 Daddy Blogger” badge on my site – will I need another badge to be counted in these new scores? Also – when were you planning to do your next top 50 dad blogger chart?

    Thanks so much – and keep up the good work
    Jeremy

    • Posted 7 April 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jeremy

      Yes – you need the Tots100 badge from your account for us to track traffic – since this carries code that’s specifically associated with your unique account ID. In terms of updates, we will probably update the more specific charts (Dads, special kids etc) once or twice a year :)