Although there are currently an estimated 56 million regularly updated blogs, not all blogs are created equal. A new survey released by PR firm Edelman and the blog search engine Technorati revealed which blogs are the most "influential." The study, which ranked blogs based on the number of links they received from other blogs, caused a great deal of controversy when it was released last week.
While many griped that most-linked does not necessarily mean most influential, it was the release of Technorati-Edelman's lists of most-linked French, German and Italian blogs that generated the most criticism.
Because only bloggers that had created an account to "claim" their blog in Technorati were included, many blogs were not ranked, or not ranked in the appropriate national category. As a result, Steve Rubel, vice president in Edelman's me2revolution practice, backpedaled regarding the validity of the initial lists. He wrote on his blog that the lists are still in beta and should be taken "with a grain of salt."
The Technorati blog also quickly reiterated that the current lists were only in beta and it will be a month before the lists are "formally introduced." The blog also pointed readers to the steps bloggers "who want to be sure they're included in our listings" need to take to claim their blog.
Guillaume du Gardier, Edelman as Director Online Communications Europe, wrote in his blog, PR Thoughts, regarding the list:
"But, please….please… Even if we’ve been fixing the list, it is still potentially subject to some minor adaptations. Why ? Mainly because, as Peter explained this morning, if you don’t fully claim your blog by creating an account in Technorati and also claiming that it is a "french" one (in case of french blog of course…), you might not be in the list. Just because Technorati "won’t see you as a french blog".
The list of top blogs by country was released likely to publicizes Edelman's sponsorship of Technorati's development of new blog monitoring sites in French, German, Italian, Korean and Chinese. The sites which monitor non-english blogs will be available exclusively to Edelman and its clients until February, after which they will be made available to the public.
Marketing and PR professionals have an interest in monitoring blog popularity as an increasing number of companies have begun to use blogs as part of their marketing strategy. Many companies have created their own corporate blog or pitch their products and stories to blogs in order to generate positive buzz.
Do you think most-linked translates into most influential? Does it make sense to rank, for example, the top Italian blogs? Do marketers need that information or is nationality beside the point in the border-free blogosphere?