Tracking the Russia blogosphere
Ever wondered what the top English language Russia blogs are, by the numbers? Well, wait no more, for La Russophobe has broken the stats down, ranking blogs by:
- The number of blogs linking to each
- The total number of incoming links
- Overall traffic
- Net worth
The stats certainly make interesting reading, and provide a pretty good overview of who is who in the English speaking Russia blogosphere. There are a couple of things I’d take issue with, though:
First, the obligatory La Russophobe “Russia is rubbish” sentence. According to LR, the fact that only 1,200 blogs are Technorati tagged Russia is “emphatic evidence” that:
the world wants little to do with Russia. That’s fitting of course, since every day Russians show they want little to do with the world — well, until they start starving, that is.
More likely, I’d imagine, is that Technorati does a generally poor job of indexing non-English language blogs, and an even worse job of indexing blogs that don’t use the latin alphabet. In fact, during 2006, the number of Russian language blogs hosted on LiveJournal sailed past the million mark.
Secondly, La Russophobe draws a comparison between the number of Google hits that Russia Blog and La Russophobe have:
LR currently has over 60,000 Google hits, while “Real Russia Project” has less than 600 (granted, LR has existed longer than RRP, but “Yuri Mamchur” has been the boss of Russia Blog from day 1 and has currently less than 13,000 Google hits. In other words, Russia Blog’s traffic is completely empty, basically a bait-and-switch charade — a classic Russophile illusion (and in that way, quite fitting).
It seems to me (please correct me if I’m wrong) that LR has run a search for “La Russophobe” and “Real Russia Project”. Drawing a comparison based on this is somewhat unfair, in my opinion. “Real Russia Project” is a new (albiet – sorry guys – somewhat dull) name for a blog which is more traditionally called simply “Russia Blog”. Indeed, even now, many people – myself included – still refer to Russia Blog by its old name.
A more useful comparison, I think, would be to run a Google search on the respective web addresses. Running a Google search for “site:russiablog.org” and “site:russophobe.blogspot.com” brings up the following results:
(Update 30/3/07: As La Russophobe has just pointed out to me, the above analysis, based on “site:domainname” is rubbish, as it just counts the number of times google itself has indexed each site, rather than amount of times that other websites link to each site. A bit of a daft error, for which I apologise.
What I had intended to do was use Google’s “link:” facility. So, an accurate version of the above is:
“A more useful comparison, I think, would be to run a Google search on the respective web addresses. Running a Google search for “link:russiablog.org” and “link:russophobe.blogspot.com” brings up the following results:
Apologies for any confusion caused).
LR also notes that Russia Blog (or, the Real Russia Project, if you will) is:
funded by a large institution […] and which likely engages in commercial traffic generation techniques.
That Russia Blog’s authors use commercial traffic generation techniques is news to me. The use of the word “likely” hints that LR is extrapolating, so I’d be interested to see any evidence of this.
To be honest, though, I’d be somewhat surprised if any paid traffic generation they engage in has a significant affect on the bottom line traffic Russia Blog receives – bringing in paid viewers costs a lot of money, and I can’t really see much value in doing that for what is, to be honest, in the grand scheme of things a pretty small scale blog.
Additionally, regardless of how initial traffic is generated, it’s returning traffic that counts – and people don’t come back to a weblog if it doesn’t add value to their daily lives in some way.
Finally, following LR’s post, I’ve realised that my stat counter is set to keep my stats private. This was an oversight, and I’ve now opened my Sitemeter account up to public viewing for anyone who wants to have a good nose around.