Internet Sites For Keeping Score

by Jamison Koehler on May 8, 2012

“Keep the score between us Earth,” my favorite poet once wrote, “because it matters.”

It does matter.  And anybody who knows me at all knows that I am always keeping score.

Fortunately, for those of us who crave external validation and who can’t take pleasure in anything unless it means that we are beating someone else, there are all sorts of ways for keeping score on the Internet — sites that measure traffic to your website or blog, tools for assessing your personality on Twitter or measuring your influence on social media, and so on.

Here are some of my favorites.

Mike’s Marketing Tools:  Brian Gurwitz turned me onto this one.  You type in the website address and then the Google search terms you are interested in tracking.  Presto. You see how the site ranks for these terms according to four different search engines:  Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and AOL.

Klout:  “Today,” says the promo, “you can drive the conversation, voice your opinion, and connect with people all over the world using social media. Social media has democratized influence.”  Giving you a score between 1 and 100, with the average score pegged at 20, Klout uses Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Google + to measure your influence on the Internet.  I am not quite sure what any of this means.  But, currently giving me a score of 36, it does give me more one thing to track.

Klouchebag:  This is a fun, tongue-in-cheek gimmick that marries Klout with Twitter.  Also using the 1-100 score system, Klouchebag assesses your Twitter personality based on what its creator, Tom Scott, terms the “ARSE” rating system:  Anger (including profanity); Retweets (including constant or annoying retweets); Social Apps (including “every useless checkin on foursquare or its horrible brethren); and English Usage (it penalizes you for excessive use of capitalization and exclamation points).  I have to admit to some embarrassment about my current score of 12 and the characterization of me “as quite a nice person.”  Yes, yes.  I already know that some consider my online personality to be pretty milquetoast.  I am like that in person too.

Friend or Follow:  Have you decided to unfollow me on Twitter?  Now I can teach you a lesson by unfollowing you in return.  In truth, while I normally follow only those people who have something interesting to say (many of whom do not follow me in return), if on the fence, I will in fact consider whether the person is following me.

Alexa:  Although Mark Draughn has figured out how to game the system, Alexa provides a pretty good way to measure your site’s traffic relative to others.  I learned about this site from Max Kennerly.  And because I bookmarked the site with Kennerly’s site as the default, I have always pulled up his ranking before entering the data to find out my own.  In fact, I see that I have just overtaken him.  While he held steady for a long time at just over 900,000, he is currently at 1,375, 564.  I am just under that number.  Ahh, the thrill of victory.  And what’s better:  humiliation for Kennerly.

Blog Rank:  This site seems to provide a steadier and more comprehensive indication of relative website rankings than either Alexa or Justia.  It also tells you the criteria it uses in coming up with the “ultimate rank” for blogs:  number of RSS fees, number of unique monthly visitors, number of pages indexed by Google, number of incoming links, Google page rank, and Alexa rank.  My site is currently ranked #46 among law blogs —  right above Eric Turkewitz at #49 and right below Carolyn Elefant at #43.

Always room for improvement.  I’d better get cracking.

5 Comments on “Internet Sites For Keeping Score

  1. Someone sent me an email to tell me that SJ was number 4 on the Avvo top law blogs ranking, so I took a look. I had no clue why, as my readership stats were within the usual paramters. So I decided to investigate.

    It turned out that SJ had been targeted by spammers in Asia, creating what appeared to be a huge influx of international interest. Of course, it wasn’t interest at all. Once I closed trackbacks, adjusted spam filtering and it became clear that their bots wouldn’t serve to get them any backlink juice, their interest waned and the Alexa ranking dwindled. On the surface, it would appear that the metrics were way down, when in reality it was all nonsense.

    Law blogs appeal to a fairly small universe of readers. We’re not mommy blogs, attracting millions of readers with delicious cupcake recipes. We’re never going to.

    Some of the metrics, Klout for example, have no applicability to what we do, and are just silly. Similarly, the number of followers on twitter is a game for kids, easy enough to play if you’re so inclined. Just ask Adrian.

    If there’s any metric that strikes me as meaningful, it’s the respect of those you respect. It may not give you social media rock star numbers, but at least it means something.

  2. A fortunate few have both respect and numbers.

  3. I can’t find a stats system that tells me what I really want to know. I’m not selling anything, so I don’t much care how many people reach my site from a search engine, and I’m not directly concerned with how many visits I get or even how many unique visitors I have. What I want to know is how many regular readers I have, for some meaningful definition of “regular.” I guess what I really want to know is how many people care about what I write.

  4. Second place to Jamison, that is indeed quite embarrassing. To make matters worse, your link to my site is broken. I get no respect.

    Alexa is interesting because it collects all the data into one easily-readable chart, though it’s at most a proxy for the real information, because it is dependent on people using the toolbar, and toolbar usage bears little resemblance to the population as a whole.

    One non-obvious metric I personally follow are links from legitimate non-legal sites. I’m particularly gratified by links in forum discussions, though they’re worthless for Google Juice.

  5. They are sort of fun diversions; sort of like blogging with icing on top and a cherry.

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