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IZEA Launches RealRank – Will You Opt In?

Posted By Darren Rowse 10th of January 2008 Blogging Tools and Services 0 Comments

Real-RankIZEA today have launched what it’s been promising for a while – IZEARanks.com where it measures ‘RealRank’ of blogs (their announcement is here).

What is RealRank? – “a blog ranking system that uses real data to calculate which blogs are getting the most traffic and have the most influence on the web. IZEARanks ranks the top blogs in the blogosphere via actual site statistics, not an extrapolation of estimates.”

The Reason for RealRank? – in short the reasoning for RealRank that they are selling it with is that non of the other ‘ranking’ systems for websites really do a good enough job or give a realistic measure of how a blog is going. They talk about Google PR, Alexa, ComScore etc.

So IZEA is suggesting that their RealRank is a better measure and will give bloggers and advertisers a better idea of how a blog is going and how it compares to others.

They’re ranking blogs based upon three factors:

  • 70% weighted towards visitors per day
  • 20% weighted towards amount of ACTIVE inbound links per day
  • 10% weighted towards pageviews per day

Sounds Good… But….

OK – so the above measures all sound fairly good in terms of measuring a blog’s rank (although we could probably come up with another 10-20 factors that could be included – depending upon our definition of what a successful blog is) – HOWEVER there is one major deficiency with RealRank that in my mind brings it back into the realm of all of the other ranking systems that they set themselves up against….

IZEA only tracks blogs who opt in and who are willing to allow IZEA to put a tracking script on their blog. While this might lead to accurate measurements of how your blog is going – it’s not ever going to be a true ranking tool for the blogosphere as I really can’t see the majority of bloggers using is.

The advantage that other ranking tools have is that you don’t need to opt in. While this might lead to less accurate measurements at least they do measure all blogs (and all websites).

Another issue that is worth considering is why you’d want to be included in a blog only ranking system. My own opinion is that bloggers need to stop looking at themselves in such an insular manner and just comparing themselves to other blogs as I think this can actually limit yourself.

Your blog doesn’t just compete with blogs – it’s competing with sites of all types.

As Paul Glazowski at Mashable writes:

“But if you look at it from another vantage, you might find it too selective and limited. Site ranks are, after all, typically determined against an unvarnished view of the whole canvas of the Web. Why? Because the Web, on the whole, is the grand venue targeted by most ambitious sites – be they e-commerce institutions or respected publications operating via the RSS protocol.

Bloggers of course do wish to see their publications grow and eventually live as well-known entities on the open plain of the Internet. So to distinguish blogs from all other publications then wouldn’t be of any use, right?”

Another Hurdle for IZEA…

One of the main hurdles that I think IZEA will have with RealRank is that everything that they launch now is being associated with something in their rocky past – PayPerPost (IZEA is the parent company for PPP).

I’ve already heard 3-4 bloggers tell me that they’re not going to participate in this because they don’t want a company like PPP to have access to their blog’s metrics.

Others have expressed concern over it as they think it’ll be a signal to Google that you’re selling links.

It’s interesting to hear these comments and I wonder if it will be a feeling that stops many from participating. I’m personally not that sure if this is a fair criticism. After all most bloggers have some sort of script running on their blogs (whether it be Google Analytis, AdSense or some other advertising system or metrics tool). At times I wonder whether I should be putting my blog’s data in the hands of Google too!

What do You Think?

My overall feeling is that this is a tool that has some merit and gives bloggers a fresh way of looking at their performance – however in terms of being a comparative tool that ranks the blogosphere I’m not it’s going to get enough blogs involved to warrant it being useful. As a statistical tool it might be useful for bloggers – but then again you could get all the same information on how your blog is performing by using another metrics tool.

The above are just some of my own initial thoughts on BlogRank – but I’m just one blogger (one who has chosen not to use it). Ultimately the success or failure of RealRank doesn’t rest on my shoulders – it rests on whether it’ll be picked up and used by the wider blogging community.

So will you use it?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I don’t think I’ll be opting in at this stage, as a blogger. I suppose I still see it as being mainly used by the PPP crowd, and won’t ever get enough coverage to become a useful comparison / ranking system.

    I see a use for it as far as internal platforms go (PPP being the obvious choice) because bloggers would want / have to use it, which then will at least give a good way to judge between blogs on the platform. Therefore, I don’t see any major use for it beyond IZEA itself.

    To be honest, if you want a ranking system, a site that took all the different systems out there (that don’t require code to be added to the website), and let you weight the different factors as you wanted, would be most useful to me.

    The idea that everyone values all factors equally makes no sense, so why not let the user decide for themselves, to make their own comparisons?

    I know SEOmoz do this to an extent with PageStrength, but I don’t think they let you weight the factors according to your own preference, if you wish.

  2. I recently opted-in and noticed a benefit by the increase in the amount of paid posting jobs that I was eligible for, including the higher paying ones.

    I’ve found that some PPP advertisers don’t use the Alexa score or blog tack scores – they use only the IzeaRank system.

  3. Has anyone here actually looked at payperposts pagerank lately? It’s PR6. Izea.com is PR5. Text link Ads, the other one I saw that was supposed to have it’s users hit with PR slashes is PR7.

    So why would google be targeting the bloggers instead of these sites themselves, if that’s what their after? Google is already well aware after all, that they own the search engine market, and anyone they hit with PR0 from a ‘significant’ high of 5, 6, 7, is going to make the SEO monkeys that follow PR as a cult run away screaming like Japanese school girls from a tentacle monster.

    That being said, I’ve been looking up PPP for a while now, and there have been two things I’ve found that people have of an issue with it. 2.5 now.

    1: A lot of people are pissed off that PPP is a way for bloggers to sell out. They don’t actually care about transparency, for the most part. They just don’t want to get hit with the stigma that bloggers are out to get money.

    Paid reviews, and that’s what they become at that point… Not blogs, but instead reviews, have been around forever. Movies, magazines, video games, blogs… Actors endorsing products on TV… Or hell, period, is a paid review that only takes a sentence or two.

    2: Google apparently hates … Not them, but anyone that uses them.

    2.5: Only just now thanks to another poster do I see why they apparently hate them. They won’t allow you to use no-follow tags on your reviews to websites.

    Well Ted, that’s fair enough, isn’t it? I know it devalues the links a little for your customers, but keep in mind, they’re relatively permanent links to site’s you’re pimping for reviews and traffic, not PR. I really suggest talking to the google people to see if this is their problem with you, at least on the surface. I know you feel they’re just blocking you out as a competitor to their lucrative ad-sense program, and that may be true. It might not. Either way, we all know they couldn’t admit to it on the surface if that were the case, and as they haven’t banned or even knocked your sites down to the low PR’s, it shouldn’t be hard to find a solution.

    Last I checked the other big arguement was that your posties don’t have to be transparent about being paid for their reviews. I’ve given this some thought, and I’ve come to a rather backwards conclusion.

    Anyone who doesn’t admit their being paid, is probably afraid to because of how people react to the concept of selling out.
    I’m young so far as an internet user is concerned… Maybe all of, say, ten years of netlife. Almost half my actual life at that. And in those meager years I’ve watched people swear and dance and cry that their precious free lunch might cost them money, or doesn’t have the same moral alignment… As it did before… Huh. Geeky moment: Alignment shifts in D&D 3.X cause you to lose followers… Something that only nominally made sense until now.
    Sorry, that’s called a tangent.
    In all fairness, people also scream, and cry, and set themselves on fire for any other change, often even minor ones. People are hard to please, they all seem to want fresh content, but at the same time, exactly what they’ve always had. That’s really why we have genres, and any slight change spawns a subgenre (if the creator doesn’t get scared off by people running around bawling their eyes out, blazing and threatening to beat them with a bat for tainting their precious genre).

    As for weather or not the ‘realrank’ thing has any value? I can see that it does, for bloggers, advertisers, and of course, Izea and their sub-projects.

    Those of you who say it’s just a way for advertisers to find people to work with, you’re absolutely right. Why else would it be there?
    I’m surprised however, you sound so aggressive of the fact… Primarily because you’re talking in the comments to a blog that’s about … Making money… With your blog…
    Anyway, It’s not like a ponzi scheme, or mc.donalds subliminal messaging. It’s a free service directed towards a niche crowd, for the benefit of the creator, the crowd, and anyone else who finds use of it. Is it a little bit sneaky? YES! They aren’t going to outright say ‘Yo! Put your site here so our clients can be impressed by us and do more business.’
    Is that wrong? Nope. Not at all. Search engines and directories, alexia, whatever else.. All do the exact same thing. They don’t provide you tracking service, listing services, and searching services for free just to make you happy. They want it to look that way, but they do it so they can please their clients by offering them premium listing spots, advertisements on websites, or.. Hell.. Over time just charge you for the previously free services. In fact, there are thousands of online directories. Many of these start out free, then turn to recipicorial or paid, or just outright paid, for example.

    Still, I went on about that a little longer than I meant to. My point is, you shouldn’t look at a service as evil because it has to do with making money. Well, some of them are, but it’s how they go about it. MLM’s for example, are evil, vile things. As is all manner of ad/spyware.
    As for realrank, just look at it as another tool. Do you already have tracking software available to you for your site? If not, it’s a convenient way for you to get that data, and it’s very accurate. Do you already get that data? OK. Maybe it’s not for you. Then again, it could always increase your traffic, give it some serious evaluation rather than toss it because it’s surface intention isn’t exactly what you need.

    Closing comment number 1: Too many of you are sheep. ‘I might use it, but only if more people do’. Uhh… You know what? It’s sad to say, but most people are good little lambs and won’t tread where the other lambs aren’t going. That’s why it takes sheep dogs (popular people) to move into it. Reference: Actor endorsements.

    Closing comment number 2: If you’ve read all this… I’m sorry. It was all written raw into the comment box, it took me about fourty minutes. In fact, I’m going to copy it in case I got some cookie timeout effect. Forum posters know the bane.

    Closing comment 3: Hi, I’m Justin. I’m working on my website, for a trading card game I’m making. As you can see from this post, I feel everyone is entitled to my opinion, and so my website will have a section called JRants. I hope to have the prototype version of the website up early this month. If you want to stop by because you like long-winded people, or because you’re curious about the game, or you just want to watch, eyes narrowed to angry little points, watching… Waiting for the day I fail, because my sheep comment hurt you. Well, do come by.

    Closing comment 4: Mandatory introduction/shameless self plug out of the way, I’m subscribed to the replies here. So if you can provide some genuine reasons to loathe or love PPP here, that would be great, my research is fairly insubstantial so far.

  4. Sorry to post again so early, I just wanted to note that I found a half hour and some change video for social spark between my comment and now. While they were very… Uhh… Snively is the word I’m going to use… Towards google and techcrunch, I think the other one was. They did say they are forcing disclosure agreements with the badges.
    As for links to the advertisers, they specifically said if it’s required by the advertiser to get a link, they require a no-follow. But if it’s just ‘requested’, then a dofollow is ok.

    The social spark website itself has a robotisized female go on and on about the features, and I did pick out her saying ‘search engine compliment blogs’.

    I have to admit, the features they talk about for it are very nice, and if they get along with google and their competitors alright it should perform very well.

  5. I have no regrets using PPP or IZEA ranking. Infact I found it different and actually got some page visit statistics real time. PP has helped me earn great bucks from my blog which sadly Google Adsense never did and I am new and do not mind trying out new stuff and may be sometime in furture dear Pro Blogger you may be eating your own words for competely disapproving this new ranking system.

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