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Really, What's the Point of the 2000 Bloggers Experiment

A few weeks back I got into the 2000 Bloggers.’ It sounded like a really neat idea to build some links and gain some traffic to my blog. And it worked, at least to some degree. Looking at my site stats in Google Analytics, it appears I have gained some traffic from the 2000 Bloggers.

But the place that it made the most impact was on my Technorati ranking. Every day I watched my ranking in Technorati change; and change a lot. Some days I’d jump 30,000 positions. It was amazing. And for a few weeks, I was quite excited. As of today, my ranking is somewhere around 26,000 – a long way from where I began four short weeks ago at 1,618,000.

At first, I didn’t put together that my jump in rankings had anything to do with the 2000 Bloggers. Every day I was writing posts and commenting on a number of other blogs. I figured my ranking was due to my efforts. Until one day early last week I looked more closely at who was linking to me. To my surprise, the great majority, more than 75%, were from the 2000 Bloggers.

That got me to thinking…what’s the point of joining a meme like the 2000 Bloggers? Sure, I got some traffic and my Technorati rank increased dramatically. But what did I really gain? My rank in Technorati is obviously inflated. So what good is it as it’s not representative of my true position in the blogosphere.

Then I read Tony Hung’s “’2000 Bloggers’ is Over – An Exercise in Link ‘Building’ At Its Most Useless and Pathetic. Tony writes that 2000 Bloggers is actually ‘over’ due to pressure from Technorati. He goes on to say:

What's the big deal? It inflates your link “worth” so to speak. As Webomatic mentions — its basically a linkfarm in new clothes. Imagine you're a new blog with a few dozen inbound links, and then you're flooded with almost 2000 of them. Bongo bonanza! People use Technorati for all kinds of things — tracking buzz, is one of them. They also use it as a metric, to measure a blog's “worth” or “influence” given how many inbound links its got. 2000 new inbound links? Artificial inflation of your Technorati ranking … or, at least, in theory, as Technorati has new algorithms for this kind of thing.

When I first heard of 2000 Bloggers, it felt a little funny to me. But I did it anyhow, not really knowing about linkfarming. In hindsight, and being honest, I’d probably do it again. I did gain a bit from it in experience more than benefit. Though in the future I probably won’t join anything like this again.

You see, I want my blog to do my work. I want to offer content that’s engaging, informative and really helps my readers. Ultimately, that’s my goal and what I want my blgo to be known for. Rankings, while important, certainly don’t mean as much as getting my blog in front of those that I can help. So I don’t want to inflate my standing. Nor do I want to waste time, energy or thought on such pursuits. I’ve learned with this one.

I agree with how Tony closes his post:

…at the end of the day some of the most important metrics for “influence” *aren't* the absolute number of inbound links a site has. Its what those links *do* for you.

If they're not leading to increased traffic or increased recognition on behalf of the linking blog, then it doesn't count for squat.

Its that simple.

So let the 2000 bloggers artificially increase their Technorati ranking. …I suspect it'll mean very little to the numbers most bloggers are interested in – or even, the effect it will have on their own relative importance to their own corner of the blogosphere.

Well said, Tony. My feelings exactly.

For more, read Jeremiah’s I Don’t Deserve This Technorati Rank. And Instabloke is going as far as calling for a boycott of Technorati
I want to know what you think of the 2000 Bloggers. Do you feel you gained from it? What about your Technorati ranking…do you feel it’s inflated? Do you care? One way or another, let me hear about.

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Comments

  1. Seems to me Technorati needs to rethink their algorithms. If they can be that easily “gamed” then that’s their issue not people who came up with a way to market themselves by using community.

  2. It was creative and meant to garner attention and for fun. I found some nice blogs through it.

    The link inflation effect would have been temporary anyway since Technorati only counts back 180 days. So at best you would have enjoyed your inflated status for 6 months. Is that really so bad?
    I think Technorati should just have changed the system quietly rather than causing people to question his motives, that it was “scamming” “gaming”.

    I noticed heat come from bloggers who already had a lot of links and didn’t want unknowns to “muscle in” on their status. These people take the ranking/linking too seriously. Links are often a measure of popularity, not quality. I could probably name dozens of quality blogs that would smoke the so-called A-listers, but they don’t know how to linkbait and get inbound links. The mantra “content is king” and “write and they will come” is a hollow message. People find blogs that know how to be found. SEO, headlines, keywords, outbound links–not everyone is wise to how the system works.

    Finally, it has a chilling effect on creativity. People will wonder “If I do this, will Technorati or Google be offended, blacklist me?” Will the blog police come down on me. Not the way the net should be policed IMO. The internet is for ALL, not just .edu or .org or .net but also for .fun, .silly & .creative

  3. That “meme” made a big difference to my Technorati ranking too.

    After reading Tony’s article a few days ago however my mind changed on the matter and I felt a little uneasy about my undeserved boost. It’s a good thing in my view that the project is no more, although my ranking hasn’t yet taken the adverse course. Is that just me?

  4. Actually its Tony “Hung”. Otherwise, great post! :D

    Cheers
    Tony.

  5. jf.sellsius

    Thanks for your insights. I didn’t realize that Technorati only counts back 180 days. I missed that somewhere.

    I’m not actually concerning myself so much with the A-listers. I’m more interested in putting in the sweat to get my blog known in my niche. And I’m not on some get-found-quick scheme either. That’s what bugged me about 2000 Bloggers. I want real links to my blog from people who are genuinely interested in what I have to say. others. As I said at the end of my post, this is a great learning experience.

    I don’t feel this will have any effect on creativity. The blogosphere, the net for that matter, is way too large and diverse. I’m sure we’ll see similar things in the future.

  6. Jen

    I don’t put anything on Technorati for this. I think how they’re doing what they’re doing is fine. I don’t really see a correlation between Technorati ranking and blog traffic. Maybe I’m too new, don’t know. But other than what Tony Hung said in his post, I don’t know the benefit of my Technorati ranking being higher.

    David Airey

    I hear you. I think this is just a great learning experience for all of us. I can’t speak to Tino Buntic’s motivation – though if we got a boost, imagine the boost he got hosting the thing. I’d like to think he was just having fun with his little experiment. Maybe not. Maybe this was a calculated move to link farm. Don’t know. I just know that I’ve learned from it and for that I’m grateful.

    Tony

    I knew that. Simply typo. Thanks for the catch. Thanks for visiting. And thanks for your solid posts.

  7. Put in your sweat and don’t worry about keeping link score. Engage your readers, give them something which makes them want to come back for more and all will be fine.

  8. I signed up but didn’t post about it or link back on my blog. It had a sort of “Hands across America” feeling and I simply wanted to be part of it.

    Neither seeking or caring to improve my blog ranks. As for ranking, what goes up must come down and technically 2000 Bloggers is a temporary shout – not an ongoing one unlike other memes. (Thursday Thirteen for Example)

    In time the ranking will fade and make room for the next ingenious project.

  9. jf.sellsius

    That’s exactly what I’ve been doing – and will continue to do. I learned long ago that if you want results, you simply have to work for them.

    Margaret

    Nice insight. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure you’re right. And I assume they’ll be more ‘ingenious projects’ coming…

  10. I see what you mean. It was a big wave but no one much seemed to look around and meet people thru it. They just went “whee, look at me.” It wasn’t link love, just a meme as a flasher.

  11. And flash we all did…

  12. Marketing your blog will gain you readers, but content will keep them. Time will tell if these exercises are worthwhile and blogs will naturally adjust their rankings over time. I don’t think they are useful or pathetic… I’ve been introduced to many more readers and read many more blogs having participated in these memes.

  13. I enjoyed watching my hard work improve my ranking bit by bit. After doing the 2000, the skyrocketing effect on my stats took all the enjoyment and meaning out of the stats. I didn’t know it was temporary so I am glad about that. I enjoyed the view pints here and the learning is quality posts and work at making links.
    Thanks!!

  14. Doug

    I absolutely agree that it’s your content that keeps readers returning. Without a doubt.

    Dave

    That’s my point exactly. The bloated stats gave me a false sense of success.

    2,000 Bloggers

    Read Doug’s post. He makes another interesting point.

  15. I also agree that technorati should have stronger mechanisms to prevent this type of problem. The aim of the 2000 bloggers project was probably not to game technorati but rather experiment with a nice idea.

  16. Daniel

    As I said above, I don’t know Tino’s motivation. I’d like to think it was a fun experiment too. But maybe he was looking to create a ton of buzz around his blog – which he’s done. The interesting this is that he has the most to gain from 2000 Bloggers.

  17. I too made the mistake of the 2000 bloggers submit. I use Technorati to see who linked to me… what did they say, good? bad? indifferent? Should I respond?

    The problem with the 2000 is it has made a mess of seeing who links to you.

    From a ranking standpoint, a traffic standpoint, Alexa is much better. I like to see who comes thru regularly, so I use MyBlogLog for that.

    Chris

  18. Exactly Chris. I was using Technorati for incoming links as well. Now I have to wade through this mess these links with [img Dawud Miracle] in it just to find legitimate links people are making to my blog.

    I use Alexa’s Traffic Ranking Search too. Interesting to watch how blogging has so quickly changed my ranking. Shows me that one major benefit of blogging is growing traffic to my site. Something that is much more challenging with a static, brochure-style site.

  19. I can’t help but think of the similarities between artificial linking and, well…cancer.

    As Michael Wesch’s video illustrates, the links that make up the web have a certain similarity to our own body and mind. And in my last post on my own blog that the connections throughout the internet are really similar to the connections in our own brains.

    But it’s not just in our brains, our bodies are created and defined by all of the relationships among all of the different parts- hormonal, structural, electrical, sub-atomic, etc.

    This situation works well as long as the connections have meaning and the functions that result are helpful to the overall body.

    A cancer grows when it starts manipulating the body’s resources for its own gain. Blood vessel growth and sugar intake are increased solely for the good of cancer.

    Isn’t that kind of similar to this 2000 bloggers thing? And, I suppose, the other kinds of linkbaiting and buying of links that are referenced in these comments?

    But before we get too worried about the health of the blogosphere, I think the response from the blogging community has been instructive.

    Cancer arises in your own body every day. Millions of times per day, in fact. Your immune system simply finds it and kills it. End of story, until your overall health is depressed enough to let it grow. Or until a cancer comes along that is particularly aggressive.

    It seems to me that the self-regulation of the internet (consider the success of Wikipedia) is working well, and it is another indication that what we are building on internet servers around the world is getting more and more alive by the minute.

  20. Travis

    Yeah. I would say that the positives of the blogosphere are far outweighing the negatives.

  21. Blogs existed before Technorati. I’d say it’s not their responsibility to bend to Technorati’s system. If Technorati doesn’t like it that their system counted these links, that seems to be Technorati’s problem IMO. Many bloggers are “soul bloggers”, not counting links or popularity or any of the other brass rings others are reaching for.
    http://tinyurl.com/2kytso

  22. While I agree with your thoughts – How do I increase traffic to my site? I have not yet attempted the 2000 bloggers thingy – I am blogging to get traffic and to get to know a few folks… But somehow its not happening – Agree im a greenhorn at this – but what is the choice?

  23. Hemant

    I thought the same thing. What I came to learn is that getting traffic and gaining readers is not necessarily the same thing. I’ve gained far more readers through my post writing and commenting on other blog posts than I did with 2000 Bloggers. I certainly gained more feed subscribers writing and commenting than I did during the 2000 Bloggers.

    Really, the way to build traffic is first through great content, second through linking out from your content to other blogs, and third, commenting on other blogs to draw interest in yours.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Yesterday I wrote about my experience with the 2000 Bloggers meme, in which I cited Tony Hung’s ‘2000 Bloggers’ is Over – An Exercise in Link ‘Building’ At Its Most Useless and Pathetic. My post and some great comments have created quite a buzz. Now I don’t think that 2000 Bloggers, or any meme is pathetic, or even useless. But I do agree with some of Tony’s points. What I question is the point of using memes to inflate my Technorati ranking. I simplly don’t know what the point is. If you read what Doug Karr wrote in 2000 Bloggers Gaming Technorati? Waaaaah!, you’ll see he’s not apologizing for how memes are helping grow his blog. He says memes are… …absolutely no different from sharing your blogroll, trading links with someone, giving away merchandise for mentioning your blog, linkbaiting, “Make me a Technorati Favorite” button, ‘optimizing’ for search engines, Digging, …. or even BUYING your Technorati rank by advertising on other sites. John Chow, for example, continues to utilize any and all methods to give his rank a boost. [...]

  2. [...] In the world of blogging, there was a recent event that artificially increased the number of links to a number of blogs. It was the ”2000 Bloggers” project, and it was added to long list of other things that bloggers do to try and get as many people as possible to link to their sites. [...]

  3. [...] Yeah, I know, I said I wasn’t interested in memes any longer. Yet tagging memes seems so much more sensible than what happened with the 2000 Blogger meme. Here, I get to share a few of my favorite bloggers and make them known to others. A win-win in all directions. [...]

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