How to find top blogs

by Julie on February 15, 2010

millions to choose from

So many blogs, so little time! How do you find the best ones?

I’m working on a project right now where I need to find the top blogs for a number of different topics. And it’s not as easy as you’d think. There isn’t one place that categorizes all blogs or top blogs or best blogs in terms of traffic, rank, subscribers and social media reach.

And, interestingly, Google isn’t really cutting it. I’ve found that blogs that end up on the first page of my Google search returns aren’t necessarily highly trafficked. When I tweeted my request for a way to find top blogs, many people said, ‘Use Google!’ But Google ranks based on how many people are linking to a particular post, not the site itself. So if you type in ‘NVidia blue screen error’, you will find a specific blog post on the subject at the top of the results. Doesn’t mean the blog that post lives on is a top ranked blog, but that post is. Google isn’t measuring popularity to the site, it’s measuring traffic to the page (among other things).

Below, you’ll find a list of other sites that can help with this task – but none of them are spectacular. And you can’t take what they say as gospel. You’ll need to install the Alexa toolbar, check each blog’s posts for comment numbers and ask around to get the full picture.

So…if anyone’s looking for a great business idea. Please make the ultimate blog ranking and discovery site – ‘kay? Thanks…

Image credit: Dan is awesome

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Danielle Shelton-Walczak February 20, 2010 at 4:51 pm

The Blog Revue is another. It’s not ranked by web analytics, but by what is out there and getting read often. It’s not that old, but I’m proud of it.

2 LPC February 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been blogging for a year, and all along I have been trying to figure out which were the “top” blogs, in terms of quality and popularity, in several niches. Those niches don’t even seem to be tracked. That’s not the only problem. Blogs, when they are written by people, not corporations, have a voice and a viewpoint that matters MORE often than the topic. And nowhere do I see that captured. I kept thinking, can we have a system of SELF-identification? For example, political leanings, gender, topic (s), etc.? I also believe, and this could of course be self-serving, that the large blogs, begun in the first flush of blogdom, sometimes have a lot of readers just because they started early. The writing is sometimes completely unremarkable. I find Technorati to be absolutely useless. And I’m not generally a crabby soul…

3 Marian Schembari February 21, 2010 at 3:35 pm

THANK YOU! Sheesh, I thought I was the only one who found those tools to be utterly useless. There absolutely needs to be a place to find great blogs. I’ve found the absolute best way is to find one popular site and go to their blogroll and also check out the sites of people that comment – though that doesn’t garauntee good traffic. So I use Compete, because Alexa slows down my comp, but neither of those gives accurate data. It’s all so confusing! If there was just a one-stop-shop (that was free, mind you), I would be a happy chappy. Thanks for posting 🙂

4 Siany February 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Hmm… I guess this all depends on how you measure what a top blog is. But if you’re only going by rankings, you’re going to be missing out on some really excellent, smaller blogs. Blogs that are more niche in their area, and blogs that one day, are going to be huge. Usually they’re the blogs I want to be reading. Ranking doesn’t necessarily mean quality. Often it means that something has had an awful lot of money thrown at it.

5 Julie February 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Siany – I agree if you’re just looking for good blogs. In my case, I’m running a huge social media campaign and need to find sites with high traffic – not just rank…it all depends on what you’re looking for.

Another great tool I just discovered for this purpose (to check for traffic – not to find the top blogs in the first place) is http://www.quarkbase.com

And not all of the top ranked blogs have tons of money thrown at them – look at http://www.chrisbrogan.com – he’s just good.

6 Marian Schembari February 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I 100% agree with Sian. Unfortunately, rankings count if your doing PR. Clients care about rankings and it’s important to find the “top blogs” in regards to numbers.

That being said, I think it’s really important to reach out to all bloggers (even when doing PR) because usually these are the people hwo are nicer, easier to deal with and you can actually establish a relationship rather than begging for press from the big guns (those with the $$$)

7 Marian Schembari February 21, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Ooohhh, liking Quarkbase!

8 Julie February 21, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Yeah – it’s amazing.

9 LPC February 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Correct me please, if I’m wrong, but Quarkbase doesn’t work for those of us hosted by Blogger. Yet another reason to migrate, I suppose…I thought if it was good enough for the Sartorialist it was good enough for me but I’m starting to believe I thought wrong.

10 Julie February 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Wow – really?

Blogger is terrible and terribly limiting in about 5000 ways. WORDPRESS, baby. MOVE NOW! I believe we did a post about this…ah, yes…though this post is really only the tip of the iceberg.

http://www.socmedianews.com/2009/06/blogging-choosing-a-platform-part-3-wordpress/

11 LPC February 21, 2010 at 4:37 pm

OK. I hear you. I have a question – and I understand you may not know the answer, but perhaps could point me to in the right direction. I have used the Google Followers widget, along with an RSS feed, for subscribers. Is there ANY way to bring the Google widget, and the followers, with me to Wordpress? Or, as we said in the software industry, a graceful way to degrade, i.e. a wizard for the followers themselves to resubscribe? Why, oh why, do I sense biting a bullet in my future?

12 Julie February 21, 2010 at 4:40 pm

LPC – that is a great question. Google it. I do have one person that might know the answer, but I can’t get to her until tomorrow.

Of course, one answer is to write a post about your new design and that, as a result, you need people to re-subscribe. You can direct them to your Feedburner plugin/widget – and explain all of the cool plugins they’ll now get to use – like commentluv where their last post is highlighted, etc….

Let me know if you find a way…and I’ll look around as well!

13 ian in hamburg February 22, 2010 at 11:46 am

It depends on what you mean by a top blog. Traffic, subscribers? Cheezburger gets lots of both, but so what? It’s cat pics and bad English, over and over and over again.

Sometimes you just have to ask the right people. If you’ve never heard of it, Google: Ask and Ye Shall Receive – a blog review site. You may not find all the top blogs, but you’ll discover a few worth reading, and, of course, some that are truly awful.

14 Sajjad Shah July 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Hello nice idea

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