Hey Technorati & Omniture! Let’s do some Blog Referral Tracking!

Summary: The Problem with Tracking Blogs

You are leading a blog outreach and marketing campaign. You find over 550 blogs pointing to you – great traffic (you see a spike traffic from referrals), great exposure and great for SEO. But, how do you know what those blog visitors from those 550 blogs are up to? Converting? Registering? And Purchasing?

If Technorati has the ability to track and identify over 70 million blogs, why cant it help tell my analytics program, which of the 1,400 referring websites are actually blogs and what the quality of that traffic is like (KPIs like registration, purchase etc)?

Is there an answer to this already? If so, please leave comments below to let me know.

Blogging as a Marketing Channel

The typical Marketing Channels that are readily configurable in an analytics service is paid search (PPC), organic search (SEO), online display (banners etc) and email-based marketing. Click and traffic data from these channels are usually used to segment key KPIs such as registration, using internal search (esp. for ecommerce), and completing a purchase. But what about blogs?

As noted above, Technorati is already tracking over 70 million blogs. Technorati’s identification of blogs could be readily plugged into analytics programs like Omniture SiteCatalyst, which has a “Genesis” program that allows for third-party data integration. Similarly, Google Blog Search could send their data to Google Analytics, so GA can track blog traffic etc.

Of course there will be limitation, not all blog search have each and every blog identified correctly and major websites with quasi-blogging features, like Yelp & Facebook, would probably not be included.

So if this capability already exist for any analytics program – please let me know.
Tantek, David Sifry, Matt Belkin or Avinash: What say you?



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3 responses to “Hey Technorati & Omniture! Let’s do some Blog Referral Tracking!”

  1. Avinash Kaushik Avatar

    Daniel: Someone is going to have to come up with a technical signal of what a blog is (isn’t it just a website :)) but if that is possible then rest of the problem disappears.

    Maybe there is a easy way and we can say *.blogspot.* and *.wordpress.* is a blog. Or maybe a api lookup into technorati to pick up sites that it identifies as blogs (but remember technorati will index pretty much any site that pings it).

    The capabilities exist in many analytics programs where you can apply a custom segmentation and slice off “blogs” and get the metrics you are looking for. It would be cool.

    For example for my blog I just pulled off the key stats for a top referring blog (veen.com/jeff) and these two views help me understand exactly what that traffic is doing (and as bonus points it automatically computes comparisions with other site traffic):

    Top blog referral: Overall Site Stats:

    Top blog referral: Conversion Rate Metrics:

    Both of the above are from Google Analytics, but you can do them with Matt’s program as well.


  2. Daniel R Avatar
    Daniel R


    I appreciate the prompt reply!

    Thanks for putting out the one critical mis-step in my thinking: Defining what a *Blog* is.

    It would be far from perfect, but perhaps even a rough definition would be suitable enough: such as a website that pings blog search tools like Technorati and has an RSS feed – would be more useful enough?

    Of course, like I mentioned this method probably excludes other blog-ish activities like folks who write on Facebook, MySpace and Yelp, just to name a few.

    As for: “The capabilities exist in many analytics programs where you can apply a custom segmentation and slice off “blogs” and get the metrics you are looking for. It would be cool.”

    Definitely, but I was wondering about a more automated process, like the Technorati API call you mentioned or similarly from Google Blog Search.

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