How are people finding blogs? It’s not blog search engines

Inside Microsoft we have interesting discussions about our blogs. Today Michael Rys sent around his stats. 72.86% of his traffic (about 2500 visits today) came from search engines. 25.84% came from Web sites, including other blogs, .89% came from email. .41% came from news groups. Of the traffic that came from search engines, 94.56% came from Google. 2.49% came from Yahoo. 1.83% came from MSN Search. Does Google have a monopoly in search? I’ll let you answer that question, cause I’m not a lawyer.

Oh, and he also has a blog on http://blogs.msdn.com but that one gets far less of its traffic from search engines, which tells him that not all blog URLs are being rated the same.

Also, blog search engines like Technorati aren’t bringing him any noticeable traffic. That matches what I’m seeing in my referer logs too. I wonder if Google’s blog search is going to change that much. I doubt it. Time-based search isn’t as easy to use as link-based-relevancy-search like what Google’s main engine gives us.

40 thoughts on “How are people finding blogs? It’s not blog search engines

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  2. The stats I’ve reviewed for several blogs I’ve designed and my own reveal the same numbers. My own personal blog gets a higher percentage of traffic from e-mail, mainly because I participate on a number of e-mail lists.

    Blog search engines? These are good for ego search traffic. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I’d always presumed that they weren’t really for helping people find blogs. Rather, they were for getting their own site highly ranked by requiring links back, and then underwriting the effort with advertising revenue.

  3. The stats I’ve reviewed for several blogs I’ve designed and my own reveal the same numbers. My own personal blog gets a higher percentage of traffic from e-mail, mainly because I participate on a number of e-mail lists.

    Blog search engines? These are good for ego search traffic. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I’d always presumed that they weren’t really for helping people find blogs. Rather, they were for getting their own site highly ranked by requiring links back, and then underwriting the effort with advertising revenue.

  4. Hi Robert

    Thanks for asking whether I agree with publishing the numbers :-). I give it to you retroactively though…

    Let me add that the numbers were only for the month of October. But I expect them to be representative for most times (I had one posting a couple of months ago that got hit 19’000 times from a French mobile ZDNet page, go figure).

    Also, I use most blog search engines for some competitive and “ego” searches.

    Best regards
    Michael

    PS: You can look at the numbers live at my weblog by clicking on the extreme-dm link below my Flickr badge…

  5. Hi Robert

    Thanks for asking whether I agree with publishing the numbers :-). I give it to you retroactively though…

    Let me add that the numbers were only for the month of October. But I expect them to be representative for most times (I had one posting a couple of months ago that got hit 19’000 times from a French mobile ZDNet page, go figure).

    Also, I use most blog search engines for some competitive and “ego” searches.

    Best regards
    Michael

    PS: You can look at the numbers live at my weblog by clicking on the extreme-dm link below my Flickr badge…

  6. uh Ben…

    ” How do the other 95-99% find blogs? Right now, most don’t”

    I think you’ll find you may be wrong there. How do people find blogs? They find them the same way they find most things they look for on the web. Google.

    They just don’t realise there’s anything different about a ‘blog’ and why should they? It’s just published information on the web.

    I wish you all the best in your venture, just pointing out a small flaw in your statement!

    Frank.

  7. uh Ben…

    ” How do the other 95-99% find blogs? Right now, most don’t”

    I think you’ll find you may be wrong there. How do people find blogs? They find them the same way they find most things they look for on the web. Google.

    They just don’t realise there’s anything different about a ‘blog’ and why should they? It’s just published information on the web.

    I wish you all the best in your venture, just pointing out a small flaw in your statement!

    Frank.

  8. There are really two questions here.

    Question #1: How do the technically savvy find blogs? They are the early adopters. They are information junkies. They will spend way to much time searching out the information if we have to.

    Question #2: How do the other 95-99% find blogs? Right now, most don’t. To me, this is the interesting question. To me, this is what Blogniscient is all about, bringing blogs to the people.

    The vast majority of people don’t have the time or patience to dig around looking for blogs that fit their specific wants. By creating our blog categories and continuing to expand their breadth and depth, Blogniscient will enable people to very easily find information that they want. Once our vision of the blog taxonomy ( http://blog.blogniscient.com ) has been realized, people can easily ask questions like “What are people saying about the Chicago Cubs?” By simply going to Sports–>Baseball–>Cubs on Blogniscient they will see the top information from the many Cubs blogs out there. The top blog articles and top blogs that they see will provide them a great deal of information, but will also act as a jumping off point if they choose to delve deeper.

    While today, the statistics show that only a small percentage of people are finding and reading blogs, it is our hope that if you ask this question in another year or two that the answer will be a resounding, Blogniscient!

    Ben Ruedlinger, PhD
    President, Blogniscient, Inc.

  9. There are really two questions here.

    Question #1: How do the technically savvy find blogs? They are the early adopters. They are information junkies. They will spend way to much time searching out the information if we have to.

    Question #2: How do the other 95-99% find blogs? Right now, most don’t. To me, this is the interesting question. To me, this is what Blogniscient is all about, bringing blogs to the people.

    The vast majority of people don’t have the time or patience to dig around looking for blogs that fit their specific wants. By creating our blog categories and continuing to expand their breadth and depth, Blogniscient will enable people to very easily find information that they want. Once our vision of the blog taxonomy ( http://blog.blogniscient.com ) has been realized, people can easily ask questions like “What are people saying about the Chicago Cubs?” By simply going to Sports–>Baseball–>Cubs on Blogniscient they will see the top information from the many Cubs blogs out there. The top blog articles and top blogs that they see will provide them a great deal of information, but will also act as a jumping off point if they choose to delve deeper.

    While today, the statistics show that only a small percentage of people are finding and reading blogs, it is our hope that if you ask this question in another year or two that the answer will be a resounding, Blogniscient!

    Ben Ruedlinger, PhD
    President, Blogniscient, Inc.

  10. frankp’s comment:

    Why seperate out searches by publishing method?

    is interesting. I agree that blogs are just a publishing style; the question is whether the time dimension deserves some special consideration.

  11. frankp’s comment:

    Why seperate out searches by publishing method?

    is interesting. I agree that blogs are just a publishing style; the question is whether the time dimension deserves some special consideration.

  12. What does that mean to the Technorati 100? Perhaps we should really be paying attention to what Google, Yahoo and MSN … and technorati tags be dammed!

  13. What does that mean to the Technorati 100? Perhaps we should really be paying attention to what Google, Yahoo and MSN … and technorati tags be dammed!

  14. Mujibur: you’re wrong.

    Here’s the definition, straight from Wikipedia: “In economics, a monopoly (from the Greek monos, one + polein, to sell) is defined as a persistent market situation where there is only one provider of a kind of product or service. Monopolies are characterized by a lack of economic competition for the good or service that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods.”

    My referer logs say that Google is an economic monopoly. Now, that’s different than being a legal one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

  15. Mujibur: you’re wrong.

    Here’s the definition, straight from Wikipedia: “In economics, a monopoly (from the Greek monos, one + polein, to sell) is defined as a persistent market situation where there is only one provider of a kind of product or service. Monopolies are characterized by a lack of economic competition for the good or service that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods.”

    My referer logs say that Google is an economic monopoly. Now, that’s different than being a legal one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

  16. Apologies if this appears twice… seemed to disappear the first time…

    I was saying that I, and probably a lot of other computer-based professionals use blog searches to do ‘vanity’ searches… keeping an eye on what people are saying about our various projects etc.

    That seems to me to be the only advantage to them.

    Other than that I don’t really like the sectioning of of blogs from the rest of the internerd. It just doesn’t make sense.

    If search engines could just come to terms with RSS they wouldn’t be needed. Would they?

  17. Apologies if this appears twice… seemed to disappear the first time…

    I was saying that I, and probably a lot of other computer-based professionals use blog searches to do ‘vanity’ searches… keeping an eye on what people are saying about our various projects etc.

    That seems to me to be the only advantage to them.

    Other than that I don’t really like the sectioning of of blogs from the rest of the internerd. It just doesn’t make sense.

    If search engines could just come to terms with RSS they wouldn’t be needed. Would they?

  18. I hate to add another “me too” post, but all of the blogs I have on my blog roll (which is now updated on my blog) was found by referrals. I am getting alot of Google traffic to individual posts on my blog, but most of my subscribers added my feed after another blog mentioned one of my posts.

  19. I hate to add another “me too” post, but all of the blogs I have on my blog roll (which is now updated on my blog) was found by referrals. I am getting alot of Google traffic to individual posts on my blog, but most of my subscribers added my feed after another blog mentioned one of my posts.

  20. I use Blog searches to subscribe to feeds of search results for terms I am interested for.

    I think a lot of computer related professionals may be doing the same.

    Apart from this useful functionality I don’t find blog searches that useful. In fact, I was never crazy about the direction they took… I don’t like the idea of a ‘blogosphere’ as distinct from the internerd – it’s just a way of publishing. Why seperate out searches by publishing method?

  21. I use Blog searches to subscribe to feeds of search results for terms I am interested for.

    I think a lot of computer related professionals may be doing the same.

    Apart from this useful functionality I don’t find blog searches that useful. In fact, I was never crazy about the direction they took… I don’t like the idea of a ‘blogosphere’ as distinct from the internerd – it’s just a way of publishing. Why seperate out searches by publishing method?

  22. Do you understand what the word monopoly means? Here’s a hint: it means more than having a lot of market share.

    Google is not taking measures to illegaly prevent entry into the search market. They simply have a better product that people are familiar with.

    Please don’t toss the word monopoly around unless you know what you’re talking about.

  23. Do you understand what the word monopoly means? Here’s a hint: it means more than having a lot of market share.

    Google is not taking measures to illegaly prevent entry into the search market. They simply have a better product that people are familiar with.

    Please don’t toss the word monopoly around unless you know what you’re talking about.

  24. I never used a blog search engine. All the blogs I find are from blogs that I read, what is really awsome scoble is the people who comment on your blog, if they have a long worded intellecutal post, more often than not I check out their blog. If their previous posts match what I like then I subscribe.

    Just further reinforcing what you said that commenting in industry leading blogs is a very powerful way to get your voice heard. I enjoy the face that Dave Weiner himself, Nick Bradbury, and a few other people from within Microsoft post comments!

    That will be the day, when I read a comment on your blog from Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, even one of those two kids from Standford who made the google.

  25. I never used a blog search engine. All the blogs I find are from blogs that I read, what is really awsome scoble is the people who comment on your blog, if they have a long worded intellecutal post, more often than not I check out their blog. If their previous posts match what I like then I subscribe.

    Just further reinforcing what you said that commenting in industry leading blogs is a very powerful way to get your voice heard. I enjoy the face that Dave Weiner himself, Nick Bradbury, and a few other people from within Microsoft post comments!

    That will be the day, when I read a comment on your blog from Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, even one of those two kids from Standford who made the google.

  26. I don’t get a lot of traffic, but the traffic I do get, a reasonable amount comes from tag searches on technorati. Nearly all of them popular tech searches. Technically minded people that know what they want that is likely to have been tagged by other technically minded people. Usually the latest buzz. As for blog searches, nearly nothing. It’s all Google.

  27. I don’t get a lot of traffic, but the traffic I do get, a reasonable amount comes from tag searches on technorati. Nearly all of them popular tech searches. Technically minded people that know what they want that is likely to have been tagged by other technically minded people. Usually the latest buzz. As for blog searches, nearly nothing. It’s all Google.

  28. I find blogs almost exclusively by word of mouth, or more accurately word of blog. :) Blogs I already read mention blogs I don’t, I check them out, and it goes from there. It’s viral.

  29. I find blogs almost exclusively by word of mouth, or more accurately word of blog. :) Blogs I already read mention blogs I don’t, I check them out, and it goes from there. It’s viral.

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