Technoratis Blogger Tip: Aim For The Middle

    February 22, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Technorati’s Dave Sifry has a word of advice for blogger upstarts: find your niche and aim for “The Magic Middle.” Sifry says there’s a middle ground, where topic specialization, a modest number of inbound links, and a little help from some new features can be enough to climb the ladder of blog success.

In part two of Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere, Sifry acknowledges the challenges brought about by blog information overload. One of those challenges is organizing the deluge of blogs and blogs posts pouring into the Technorati index. Another has heretofore been the blogger’s burden of getting their rafts spotlighted in a sea of blogorrhea.

In the past six months, PostSecret, a blog where folks send in anonymous post cards with their darkest secrets, had enough memetic strength that it amassed links from over 12,000 links. PostSecret is now #3 on Technorati’s Top 100 list of blogs, indicating that it is possible to break into that coveted area, but it may not be likely.

What Sifry has found is that blogs focusing on a certain topic (e.g. music, aardvarks, parenting) while gathering between 20-1000 inbound links have formed an elite club of their own. Getting a blog into this “Magic Middle” drains the blog pool, placing those blogs among about 155,000 others, rather than millions. With enough links and targeting, blogs can be much more findable.

Technorati has added an Explore section that allows searchers to browse various topics and blogs posting about those topics. The unique part of this feature is that the list is generated by authoritative bloggers in those topic areas based on which blogs those writers read and link to.

A blogger that focuses on fish, for example, probably searches the blogosphere for related topics and links out to lesser-known blogs. Sifry says organizing this information is a good way to break the A-list barrier.

The second feature, called Filter By Authority, allows searchers to narrow their search results based on how many links a blog has to its post. If a searcher wants to find every scrap of information out there, they can filter the authority level down to zero links. Or, if they’re looking for the best source, they can raise the filter level to hundreds of links.