Comments on my posting about my favorite AdSense format imply that my credibility as a niche blogger (AdSense, obviously, is the niche) is at stake because of the AdSense-like ads that are on my blog. Well, obviously I don't feel I'm doing anything wrong and so far Google hasn't come around to slap my wrists — and if they did then I'd change things to suit them. (Remember: if Google says “Jump!”, you answer “How high?” if you want to keep your AdSense account in good standing…) The only reason I made those “Ads by Eric” was so that the blog entries would be consistent even when there were more than 3 of them on the same page. In fact, I should thank them for pointing out that I needed to update those ads to include ads for the four products I currently recommend to my readers: Affiliate “Project X”, Turn Words Into Traffic, Build A Niche Store, and Secret Affiliate Weapon. Those ads are now live on the main AdSense blog page.
Still, it brings up an interesting question: how does a niche blogger gain credibility? Here are some of the metrics you might use:
- The number of comments. By that measure I'm not credible at all, most of my posts have no comments on them. Then again, people like Seth Godin and Joel Spolsky, who are very credible, have very popular blogs that don't allow comments.
- Technorati ranking. Technorati hates this blog, and I don't know why. All my emails to their support team go unanswered. Technorati thinks I haven't updated the blog in over 90 days, when obviously that's not true. Currently I rank at #23 for blogs tagged with 'AdSense', although I'm pretty sure I'd be in the top twenty if Technorati was correctly updating its stats about this blog. Looking at the top 5 blogs in that list I'd have to argue that only JenSense's blog deserves to be there — the other ones aren't really blogs in the AdSense niche. So Technorati doesn't seem to be an accurate measurement.
- Bloglines ranking. Bloglines says there are 190 subscribers reading this blog, a number which has been monotonically, if slowly, increasing over the last year. Not a huge number, to be sure, but JenSense only has 301 subscribers by comparison. Of course, that's just the Bloglines count — no direct subscriptions or subscriptions through other aggregrators like FeedBurner aren't counted in that number, nor does it count how many people subscribe to my blog via my blog-to-email service. Blog readership is generally hard to count, and even blogs with an apparently small number of subscribers can be very credible if the right people are reading them.
- Alexa ranking. Although it's subject to manipulation, some people like to use their Alexa ranking as an indicator of popularity and/or credibility (note that the two aren't the same). Currently, the Alexa ranking for this blog is at 31,126, which isn't bad. But then again, some really good sites out there have lower rankings. Alexa data tends to be skewed.
- PageRank. Google's PageRank algorithm provides an external ranking of sites on a 0 to 10 scale. After more than a year, Make Easy Money with Google and AdSense has a PR6 main blog page, which I think is pretty good for an individual's page. But there are some blogs that I like that have a lower PR.
The truth is, I don't think there's any one single, objective metric you can use to determine a blog's credibility. For me, the only measure that makes sense is the quality of the posts, i.e. the content, and that's a somewhat subjective measure.
So, in defense of my credibility, I'd like to point you to some of my best postings, in case you missed them:
- How Non-Profits and Charities Can Raise More Money Using Google Custom Search Engines
- Integrating Google AdSense with Amazon aStore and other embedded content
- Affiliate “Project X”
- AdSense on 404 (Page Not Found) Error Pages
172 AdSense Sites = $5000 per month
- Dale Carnegie Never Had So Many Friends
- How to Get Relevant AdSense Ads (Especially For Bloggers)
- ProductWiki AdSense Optimization
- Six Degrees of Web Separation: How to Link Multiple Sites
- The AdSense-ready WordPress Blog
- Brand Your Blog From Day 1
- One Blog or Many Blogs: Which Is Best?
- Private Label Articles
And that just goes back to the beginning of July!
Read them and then decide whether or not I'm a credible blogger for the AdSense niche.
Eric Giguere is the contextual advertising expert who wrote Make Easy Money with Google and Uncommon AdSense. If you like this posting, why not ask Technorati to fix their broken tracking system!