Whether you want to outreach your products and services to particular bloggers, or just want to see who’s out there talking about you, it’s important you know how to look for blogs and then how to judge if they’re relevant.
There are countless ways of finding blogs, whether it be through someone’s Twitter page, forums or communities. However, there are various tools that are set up specifically to help you search through many different kinds of blogs.
You can use Google to look for blogs, as many do come up when you conduct a normal search. However, Google Blog Search is made so you can specifically search through blogs and not other sites. It works in the same way as you’d search on Google, enter your term in the search bar or click through to Advanced Blog Search and specify exact phrases, locations and time periods.
Social Mention is a real-time social media search engine. It tells you where your search term has been mentioned across blogs, microblogs and video channels, such as Vimeo and YouTube. Like Google Blog Search, there’s also an Advanced Search option, allowing you to drill deeper into your results. Social Mention also gives you extra data, such as how many average mentions there are of your search term per day and how many different authors have produced content about it.
Technorati is the first blog search engine and has more than a million blogs indexed, allowing you to search through them for particular types of blogs as well as specific search terms.
Now you’ve found the blogs and posts that mention your search terms, how do you find out if this particular blogger is important and relevant to you?
Well, there are many tools available online that claim to know ‘authority’, ‘influence’ and ‘sentiment’, but in practice they may not be able to deliver on their promises as these are subjective and require a certain amount of human analysis.
You should also remember that just because a blog may not be really popular, it can still be important. Sometimes it could be more beneficial for you to talk with a blogger who has five or six dedicated subscribers than one which has thousands of readers but who don’t pay much attention to the content.
There are several tools available that can help you to assess whether a blog is going to be important to you, but nothing beats putting the time in, reading the content and getting a good idea of the blogger and their topics.
Google Page Rank is one of the metrics Google uses to determine where particular sites sit in search results. There are various Google Page Rank Checkers and the higher the rank, the more important Google deems this site to be. Google uses thousands of different metrics to find out a website’s Page Rank, including how many incoming links the site has and where these come from.
Technorati Authority is a ranking system devised by Technorati which claims to measure a site’s “standing and influence in the blogosphere”. Again, it’s based on a number of different metrics, including the site’s linking behaviour and influence within a specific category. Technorati Rank is then a site’s ranking among the Technorati Authority of all other sites, so 1 would be the highest rank.
Alexa is a company that has collected lots of data about websites, blogs and social networks. If you input a site into Alexa Site Search, you can see a lot of information about it, including how many incoming links it has and an indication of how much traffic it gets. You can also find out a site’s Alexa Ranking, which works in the same way as Technorati, 1 being the highest.
Although sites like Alexa tell you how many incoming links a site has, you can also use the Yahoo search page to find out more information about who’s linking to sites. In the normal Yahoo search bar type “link:[theURL]” and it will tell you how many inbound links this page has as well as where these links come from.