Lee Odden

What Makes a Top SEO Blog?

So much information, so little time. Between IM, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Sphinn, blogging and work, it’s amazing there’s any time left for “old school” activities like email.

The beauty of RSS is that you can subscribe to a pretty good list of search marketing blogs and stay up to date on industry news as well as emerging trends. In the course of daily business, I am often asked, “Which SEO blogs should you subscribe to?”

One of the most common ways people find new blogs is through links on blogs they already know about. Below is a collection of links to various rankings of the top blogs on topics related to search engine optimization and marketing online. I have no problem disclosing that Online Marketing Blog is on these lists or had a hand in their creation.

  • Daily Blog Tips Top 25 SEO Blogs – Blogs are ranked according to Google PageRank, Alexa traffic, Bloglines subscribers and Technorati Authority score. This list borrows methodology and layout from Todd And’s Power 150 list below.
  • Edelman Social Media Index – Ranked according to a dizzying list of variables including Technorati ranking, Google PageRank, RSS subscribers, Frequency of posts & comments, Alexa ranking, as well as other social media site representation including: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, Digg and Del.icio.us.
  • Todd And’s Power 150 Marketing Blogs – A very popular list combining various types of marketing blogs ranked by Google PageRank, Bloglines subscribers, Technorati ranking and Todd points based on an editorial score. The list is updated automatically every 24 hours. Todd recently partnered with AdAge for the maintenance and publishing of this list.
  • Larry Chase Web Digest for Marketers Best SEM Blogs – This is somewhat of a pared down list from what I sent to Larry when he asked me to write reviews of the best search engine marketing blogs. I wrote the reviews for each, but unfortunately, did not include our own blog in the list. 🙂
  • Onalytica Most Influential PR Blogs – This list is in part a reaction to the Edelman Social Media Index and used a methodology including a topical crawl of the web focusing on instances of “PR” and “blogs” in the same post, consolidating similar blogs and manually removing others due to lack of relevancy, analysis of posts for cross citations, which were extracted and “turned into a massive system of simultaneous equations that were solved to provide influence”. The results were normalized on a scale of 1 to 100 to sort blogs by influence (not popularity).

Online Marketing Blog has posted several SEM blog lists including the very popular BIGLIST of SEM and SEO blogs. This list is not ranked or sorted other than alphabetically at the moment. That’s something we’re working on though.

Additionally, here are a few other ranked lists of SEO blogs we’ve posted:

So, what are the “best” or “top” SEO blogs? It really depends on your definition. This IS a popularity contest, but it’s also a relevancy contest. The “top ranked” blogs don’t always satisfy readers’ information needs or interests. Sometimes it’s a matter of style and persona that drive readers to more niche and specific blogs.

It happens all the time at TopRank where a team member mentions they read some SEO piece of information from a blog I’ve never heard about and trust me, I’m familiar with A LOT of SEO blogs. 🙂

What makes a SEO blog a leader? To start, I think there’s no better metric of popularity than RSS subscribers. Link measurement and PageRank measurements are either too unreliable or flawed. Technorati’s method of counting links is a step in the right direction compared to what Yahoo Site Explorer reports, but there does need to be a better way to qualify link sources.

I also think it’s important to note that just because a blog has a lot of RSS subscribers, links, high PageRank, posts frequently, etc does not mean it’s the best blog for you as an information source. That’s a personal decision made by you. The sorting and ranking of blogs by itself should not solely dictate what blogs are the best sources of your information.

You need to actually read a good number of those blogs and the blogs they link out to in order to find the right “information neighborhood” that’s right for you.

What blogs do I read religiously on a daily basis? Very few. I’m finding the recommendations made by my social networks to be essential in filtering out the sheer volume of information published on search marketing every day. I’ll scan my list of RSS feeds or check out aggregator sites like SEOmash.com and recently, Sphinn for stories that strike my attention about once or twice a day at most. That ends up being the extend of my actual blog reading.

If I had to pick just one search marketing related blog to recommend to someone that wants to become familiar with the SEO/SEM industry, it would probably be a split between: Search Engine Land and Search Engine Watch. Anything else is up for grabs.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.