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Top 100 Blogs have an Average Age of 33.8 months

Posted By Darren Rowse 17th of October 2006 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

“How do I get in the Technorati Top 100?”

A new blogger asked me this question last week and my first suggestion to them was that most blogs in the top 100 had been active for quite a long time. My answer was off the top of my head and I’ve been pondering whether it was an accurate statement ever since I made it.

So this afternoon I was taking a look through Technorati’s Top 100 blogs to see what lessons I could learn from ‘top blogs’ I decided to see if I was right.

I spent a couple of hours surfing each blog in the list and searching through their archives to see how many months each blog had been at it for.

What I found was that those blogs that I was able to get a figure on had an average length (mean) of blogging of 33.8 months.

The median figure was 28 months (ie half the blogs have been going for longer than 28 months and half shorter than 28 months.

At a glance I guess my statement was right – however it’s worth keeping in mind that 16 of the 78 blogs have been going 12 months or less (the most prominent (Tech Crunch at #8) has only been going 6 months – correction – TechCrunch has been going for 18 or so months – after a couple of hours of analysing the figures I started seeing double and their archives section only goes back as far as May for some reason).

So what can we learn from these numbers? I’d be interested to hear what others get from them – ultimately they don’t prove anything (there are both old and new blogs in the list – just like there are millions of old and new blogs not in the list).

What do I take away from it?

  1. It reminds me to be patient and to take a long term approach to my blogging
  2. It inspires me with the reminder that some blogs do rise quickly through the ranks

Following is a graph that plots the blogs length of blogging with the most highly ranked sites on the left and the lower ranked sites on the right).

200610162303

Following is a spread of all 78 blogs from longest to shortest length.

200610162258

Disclaimers

  • I was not able to find a figure for each of the 100 blogs. For some this was due to me not being able to speak the language of some of the blogs (I did get the information for some non english blogs) and for others it was because there was no way of finding the archives (something that surprised me) and for a few it was because they were not actually blogs (why is Harvard University’s site in the top 100 blogs?). In total I found a figure for 78 blogs.
  • By no means would I encourage readers to take this as scientific research. I only took a few hours to put it together.
  • Some of the blogs that I included used to be on other domains – I did include the archives from these domains where I could find them (for example Robert Scoble’s blog).
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, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Excellent post and guidance, Darren. Indeed the most important lesson is patience, but I bet you found out a lot of other things along the way. It’s been a long time since I took a tour of the top 100. I recommend everyone do so … especially for those just starting out, you’ll get answers to so many of those questions and get ideas for honing and defining your own niche in ways that other’s advice just can’t tell you. I had a photography coach years ago … remember film? … whose assignment for all new students was, “Go shoot 1,000 exposures and then come back and we’ll talk.” Sort of like visiting 100+ blogs, perhaps?

  • I have been collecting stats on my site for almost a year (started Dec 05) and have been putting off “analyzing” them – mostly due to the slight disappointment that there has not been nearly as much growth as I had hoped.

    My idea of patience was 12 months – maybe I need to extend my timeline :-)

    Thanks

  • I’ve never thought of looking at the top 100, thanks.

    Something to do in my spare time. :) It will be interesting, I know.

    Patience is good, always, I guess.

    Thanks.

  • Nitpicker

    Techcrunch started June 11, 2005. So, it’s not old, but not as young as you say. Here is the birthday post: http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/06/12/techcrunch-turns-one-year-old/

  • Thank you for that information. I’ve often wondered how long it will be before a blog will gain momentum. We live in a want-it-now world (at least in the US) and patience is a lost virtue, along with hard work.

  • Jon

    I was looking at that list last week too…dreaming about seeing my name in lights.

    One thing from reading your post is that it would be kind of neat if us bloggers put our inception date somewhere prominantly on the site.

    A “Blogging Since Feb. 2005” would be fun to see.

  • Nice article, but TechCrunch has been around a lot longer than 6 months – the farthest back I could find was June of 2005, and a comment in that post said ‘congratulations on 5 months’

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2005/06/11/technorati-new-improved/

  • I’m still not sure I understand the actual value of a good Technorati ranking.

    Personally, I think a site that has lots of links (even if many of them are over 6 months old) has much more authority than a new site with less links — but all of them recent. Can’t see I understand the rationale behind the algorithm.

  • Makes sense to me…

    It seems like it’s almost a first-to-market kind of thing. How can a new blog get more links than one that already has a few thousand???

    Anyone in the blogging game right now has big leap on someone starting up in say 2009!

    – Bryan

  • Makes sense to me…

    It seems like it’s almost a first-to-market kind of thing. How can a new blog get more links than one that already has a few thousand???

    Anyone in the blogging game right now has big leap on someone starting up in say 2009!

    – Bryan

  • great research. as mentioned, it’s always a good reminder to not abandon a new blog after a few months since no one is visiting. i suppose it’s sort of like the first hour of a party when no one has arrived yet. But give it a little while longer and edge up to that critical mass… then again i suppose if your blog is boring, people won’t stay long at the party. (reminds me of my youth actually)

  • Thanks for putting things into a time-perspective. And for helping me find a a bunch of new blogs I´ve missed.

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  • Chris

    Thanks for looking at how long the top blogs have been published. This shows that blogs, as in anything else, takes time to incubate to become successful and profitable.

  • I got this shuddering feeling that I lost my archive list when I changed templates last month. Whew. I was wrong.

    There are so many details to learn when you start a blog. I hope that by the time I hit the top 100 I have a better grip on it all. 3 years might be just the right amount of time.

    (giggle)

  • Interesting stats, Darren. It’s a bit of a mystery to me as to why TechCrunch is so insanely popular, being that the site’s so very, very simple w/ a rather boring design/layout.

  • I think when newbies start a blog (me being a relative newbie) we think that everyone should be reading our blog. What I didn’t realise is the amount of time it takes to build up a readership and to build up some ‘word of mouth’ popularity.

  • Tech Crunch is over a year old — it was started mid 2005 if I recall correctly.

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  • Its very true what you have said in the past that blogging success requires a long term view. Like most things in life hard work, perservance and persistence seem to be the keys to success. Oh and a bit of passion for what you are writing about is vital otherwise there is little incentive to keep up the consistency required.

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  • Great site, thanks for that analysis. That is something I have wondered about, thanks for pointing out a “long term view.”
    I have been blogging for over a year and my own readership has steadily increased.

  • Good post…

    Looking at the top 100 blogs gives me “hope” that my blog can still be successful.

    I’m a relatively new blogger and like Bryan said, your post makes perfect sense. Older blogs rightly have the upper hand – readers will stay loyal to loyal bloggers.

    Grayson De Ritis – I disagree with your views on Technorati, its simplicity and layout is what makes it stand out from the crowd, similar to YouTube and Flickr, Technorati has filled a much needed niche in the market.

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  • I totally agree that when comes to blogging, you got to look at the long term. I remember when I first started, it was so hard to build traffic to your website (there’s billions websites on the internet) and it just so hard to get notice.

    You look at other sites and you see their readership is in the thousands. It’s indeed amazing but yea, you’ll get there if you enjoy what you’r doing and keep on doing it I believe.

  • Rt

    I thought the median value was the most occurring value and that the mean would have half the users either side?

  • Time starved as I am to do ANYTHING, I hope to check out the top 100 at some point.

    Good to get some perspective though. I’d be interested in finding out time frames on how long your ‘typical’ blogger keeps blogging for until they run out of ‘puff’/inspiration/money/time/life. That way, I can keep hacking away and say to myself once I reach a mean “ha! well, I’ve stuck at it longer than most’. That would be an achievement in itself.

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  • Rt: Mode is the most frequent value, mean is the average (sum of all numbers divided by the number of numbers), and median is the middle value where the 1/2 data points falls to the left and 1/2 falls to the right.

  • My blog has been running for 4 years! Even before I knew that the tool called Moveable Type that I started it with was a “blogging” tool. I learned the term after I was using it for quite some time. I have since switched to WordPress, and loving it.

    But, I still don’t have half as many readers as I would like.

    Anyway, time alone won’t make you a star!

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  • eve

    I can see the value in being ‘older’; you have much more content, and all of your ‘starter posts’ are hidden away in the archives, My site is only a few months old and I dont expect it to get huge or at the top of the list, but I plan on keeping it alive, as with anything, the more practice you have in it the better it will be. So in a year, hopefully, my posts will be much better in terms of writing style and topic.

    I wouldnt want to jump to the top right away, I have always been one that has to slowly creep into the pool, not the one that can just dive right in.

  • Very interesting post – thanks for that. My guess about Harvard being in the top 100 is that the university hosts student and faculty blogs. Of course, that’s actually a lot of people’s individual blogs rather than one, so shouldn’t really count…

  • I’ve been dirty secret confessional style mlogging (mom blogging) for about five or six weeks now. I know my blog is in its infancy, but I’ve found that getting hooked up with others’ blog rolls and ring surfs has garnered me a little audience action, both unique visits and returning. I’m up to about 50 unique visits per day, with only about 10 repeat readers each day. That’s a very broad average and hardly worth tracking yet. I feel encouraged, though. Having your blog reviewed and/or commented on by other prominent bloggers along the same topic as your blog doesn’t hurt either. Most fun few weeks of my journalism life. There’s a rush with publishing your own work. Unfortunately, the flip side to that is being a one-woman editing show. I have plenty of grammatical and other errors on my blog to prove it. Problogger was one of the first blog sites I discovered when researching whether or not to start a blog. My husband wanted me to get back in touch with my inner journalist so I could pitch in at least $300 to $400 per month to the family (anti)budget via blog ad revenue. Are those days gone? Seriously. I’d be interested in what everyone out there has to say about trying to make some dough off of blogging.

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  • You correctly identify one factor in Blog success. I daresay most of those blogs also worked diligently to increase traffic as well. it takes more than patience.

    The difference between dreams and goals is goals have action associated with them.

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  • I’ve started about 3 weeks ago and I’m picking up about 200 unique visitors per week. I’ve added many links to various directories. It takes a lot of time and patience. I’m doing my own submissions because I wasn’t too sure about those “manual (hand) link submitters.”

    Roy

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  • Thanks for your hard work and for reminding us to stick with it.

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  • Tom

    This is a hugely interesting post. It proves what I’ve always suspected – you have to be in blogging for the long haul to reap any rewards (assuming satisfaction isn’t reward enough). Too many bloggers fall by the wayside within the first few months and stand no chance.

    I’m willing to be that most of those blogs have at least 5 or 6 posts per week about a subject that is timeless – too many bloggers choose a limited subject area and flag when they can’t find new content.

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  • I was checking out the top 100 today and noted that a Japanese blog is number 1 and a blog entirely in Persian rates in the top 20 above the official Google blog. I think Technorati could have a breakdown of stats to tclarify the top blogs in your niche.
    bec-www.audiobookgiftshop.com

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