Musing about rankings

bionic manI’ve been on the road for the first time since going bionic, and for some reason I listened to my cardiologist’s advice. Which meant conserving my energy, going to bed earlier than I would have otherwise, resting as much as possible in general.

All this also meant that I didn’t get to blog. In fact, ever since the heart attack I haven’t been posting that often, and the eleven-day break since my last post is probably the longest I’ve had. So I thought I’d take a look at the effect of my laziness on the various ways people rank this kind of activity.

On technorati I have drifted gently from around the 5000 mark to around 10000; on alexa I’ve moved from nothing to nothing, too irrelevant to be measured (although I tell myself that it’s because most people who read this don’t use Internet Explorer <g> ).

For some reason my inactivity seems to have made me more popular on google. (Alright, alright, enough of the laughter). Since Christmas, if you search for “jp” on Google, I get included in the top 8 results. Seems to vary according to the time of day.

I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere. I have no idea why the result is the way it is, given I’ve never Optimised For Search Engines, pay nothing for such things, sell nothing, buy nothing, and have relatively trivial rankings elsewhere.

But there it is. Google says I am more popular when I say nothing <g>.

8 thoughts on “Musing about rankings”

  1. Hey JP. Great to see any post from yourself and to know that the delay means you’re taking care of yourself. Part of why I like having the podcast is as a way of expressing more without the effort and complexity of formulating something written. When everything doesn’t work as it should, or even as it used to, we need to find a way around it – a lifekludge even! :)


  2. Thanks Dave. Will get around to that conversation with you sometime soon. Learning a lot about lifekludging right now….

  3. Scarcity creates demand? A few years ago when we were running into capacity problems with a collaboration service we started telling people to hold off using it, and usage… surged.

    Didn’t “Confused of” climb in the Technorati rankings during the time it went completely off the air for a few days last year due to a technical glitch?

  4. Lars, I prefer John’s view! And while I accept that scarcity creates demand, I don’t think my rankings did anything but go south when I lost my blog last year. No posts, no links, no eyeballs, technorati takes you down. I know of no ranking system that measures ” attempt to reach a site that isn’t there at the time”.

    My suspicion is that Alexa concentrates on MS IE only, that technorati has high-speed decay of ranking when a site goes dormant (the six-month old links drop off daily with nothing to replace them) while Google, on the other hand, still tracks all the links. So Technorati thinks I am 300 sites linking in against a peak of 420 or so,looking at the last 6 months, while Google thinks I have over 3000 links, which is confused’s lifetime number.

    I still prefer the suggestion that people value my keeping quiet. I’ve been told to shut up by too many people for too many years :-)

  5. JP,

    Like devangshu, I would be interested in your “musing” (which seems to be a favorite verb for you these days) on the Kathy Sierra story. The BBC certainly decided that it was important. My own take would be to issue a challenge to your “four pillars,” which is that they can only stand if they are supported by a firm foundation of governance. My thoughts on what the Sierra case can teach us about governance are at:

    I then supplemented them with my “reaction to the reactions” that the BBC released this morning; you can read the follow-up at:

    I think this is an important story for anyone interested in the real-world consequences of prevailing Web 2.0 ideals!

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