Monday, June 25, 2007

Work at Home Mom: I Am Bowing Out Of the Top 100 Philippine Blogs

I have been very openly enthusiastic about having climbed the ranks at Ratified.org's Top 100 Philippine Blogs. I am, however, bowing out of it today out of delicadeza. I believe it is not proper for me to consider myself part of the ranking when the owner of the list himself deems me "not legit."

In one ofmy other blogs, I received a comment from Andrew dela Serna of Alleba.com, saying "It would have been more legit if you didn't join those link trains."

This led me to his post where he calls participation in link trains such as the Alexa Train, Technorati Train and Viral Tags as "spamming." Here is his post en toto:

"From my experience of running a web directory and blog directory, I’ve come across dozens of blogs that join these so-called link “trains” to increase their Alexa and Technorati rankings. Some are also in the illusion that it will increase their Google PageRank. At Ratified.org, I know for a fact that a bulk of those in the top 20 participate in such schemes. Had I excluded them, Bryan Boy would easily be #1. What happened to that plan anyway? Well, I decided to shelve it for now.

"Anyway, let me say that I find these things extremely self-serving and useless. The only person who directly benefits from this is the originator of the scheme. Imagine this: if I were to start something similar, all I need is to make it sound like a valiant effort and coax a few believers to join in. Then it becomes viral because, who doesn’t want links? Every struggling blogger would jump at any chance to get links, right? That’s why it’s so easy to ask them to join. In the end, the originator gets all the link love while the rest are placed in a link farm.

"Speaking of link farms, I cannot support the theory that “riding a train” increases PageRank. Link farms or free-for-all links (FFA’s) are an artificial way of linking. These “trains” aren’t any different. As we all know, for every link on a page, a little bit of its PageRank is passed on. Just imagine a low-PR page with hundreds of links on it. Basically the amount of PageRank granted is next to nil. Even if we consider the multiplier effect knowing that many other blogs will display the same links, they still won’t add up enough to make a real dent on PageRank. Also, the question of relevance comes to mind. I have a blog on cooking and I link to another blog about Hydraulics and to another on Yoyoing. Certainly those links will be considered spam by Google. But probably not in the case of linking only to those two sites. But if you link to a hundred more irrelevant blogs and those blogs contain the same exact links, that’s a totally different story. It’s called spamming.

"I hope all the new blood in the blogosphere would concentrate more on developing good, original content, rather than spending hours and hours on shady link exchanges. It’s definitely a virus, the kind that should be cured ASAP."

He has a right to his opinion but I disagree with him.

I don't believe it is spamming since these trains are not imposed on anyone. Participation is purely voluntary.

I also do not believe that participation in link trains automatically means one does not write original and relevant content in one's blog, not unless all your posts consist only of such trains.

Although I do not know enough about the technicalities of page rank computation, it's okay by me if my participation in these trains do not result in a higher page rank. Having become part of networks that I intend to explore further is good enough for me.

Any person or organization that puts up lists has the right to determine what qualifies one to be in that list. I therefore bow out of Ratified.org's list.

I only hope that bloggers who in good faith join link trains to jumpstart networking not be stigmatized as illegitimate, shady and irrelevant.

25 comments:

THE ANiTOKiD said...

What the??? I just logged in ManilaMom and saw this post. Dosh-Dosh started the whole LinkTrain and all and sincerely believe that it was all within bounds of Technorati.com, which I believe is premiere authority of such an issue. And they didn't penalize or made comment such as "more legit" to DoshDosh, or the others, or myself.

Is there such a thing as "More Legit"? The trains were within the rules of every SE and were not imposed on anybody.

Just logged in after 2 days of missing the blogging fun, Mom! Spent time with my daughter who is running for the presidency of her school's student body council :)

By the way, there are a couple of link trains going on that I just found out. One is the MyBlogLog train and the other is the BlogLines.

Links are at http://anitokid.blogspot.com/2007/06/have-glass-of-blogjuice-from-bloglines.html

and

http://anitokid.blogspot.com/2007/06/new-friends-and-higher-traffic-via.html


And oh! Somebody nominated me for the Filipino Blog of the Week Award! It's at http://anitokid.blogspot.com/2007/06/anitokid-for-filipino-blog-of-week.html

THE ANiTOKiD said...

This got me thinking Mom. With you as one of the best-selling Filipino authors today. would I take it against you that you write such good novels and all - and word spread that your work is THAT GOOD? Would National BookStore hold that against you? Would the Filipinos hold it against you?

The reason why you sold a ton of books is because you write good, tell the stories in such a way that they are interesting - not a boring moment. AND because word got out that there is this FILIPINA Romance Novelist that writes from the heart. And that WORD was passed on from one Filipino to another to another to another to another...

Same with the link trains - WOULD LINK ANYONE IF I sincerely believe that their site does not conform to my standards. IT IS NOT COMPULSORY - THE TRAINS ARE NOT IMPOSE ON ANYONE!

And oh! I HAVE visited most of the sites I have linked to time and time again after being introduced to them via the LINK TRAIN. I have become a repeat visitor to most, if not all! I say, thank the LINK TRAINS for expanding my network of friends, introducing me to the different blogs out there, and allowing me to communicate my ideas.

MJ said...

Experienced bloggers who know what they're doing have indeed begun and have participated in link trains. Like you,I see nothing wrong with them,or else I wouldn't have joined.

I have also enjoyed discovering new blogs and bloggers through the trains, and will continue to do so. I can hardly keep up.

I have just put up the MyBlogLog Exchange of Garry Conn. I will explore the other one for later. Thanks for the info!

On an even happier note, good luck to your daughter! It was time well spent.

Oh, and good luck on your nomination. I'll add my vote if I'm qualified.

THE ANiTOKiD said...

Thanks ManilaMom! The "good luck" is certainly needed - she's "up against" two very good students.

More power Mom!

THE ANiTOKiD said...

I made a comment at Alleba. I sincerely believe that he was RUDE. And WRONG! I honestly feel that he owes you and everyone else an apology.

My comments are at

http://www.alleba.com/blog/2007/06/18/alexa-train-technorati-train-viral-tags-do-they-really-work/#comment-142497

MJ said...

Thank you, bro. I appreciate your stand.

It's okay, though. I do not expect an apology. I do recognize that each one of us has the right to our own opinions.

My bowing out of the list was a matter of principle - in that if the list owner strongly believes that the manner in which I qualified is not legitimate then it is not proper for me to persist to be in that list. I would feel foolish proclaiming to be ratified in such a manner.

I do recognize the huge number of links that still keep coming, though; and whoever counts them or dismisses them will not matter in my continuing efforts to reciprocate and establish relationships one step at a time.

I will just keep on blogging and networking. :D

Maria3 said...

Isn't that kinda like the pot calling the kettle black? What is the purpose of ratified.org anyway? It seems to me that all these networking sites and rankings and lists and whatnot have the same purpose as link chains - to increase their own visibility / advertise their presence on the web. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. Of course Mr. dela Serna is entitled to his own opinion and I think you are right in removing yourself from his list, MM. I do think though, that if he feels as strongly as he seems to about the issue, then he should just remove/disqualify those who use link chains from his list. That's better than trying to drop not too subtle hints/insults. I hope you don't let this discourage you, MM. I love reading your blogs and wish you more power.

MJ said...

Thank you, Maria3! I am quite heartsick with disappointment.

Of course there will always be varying opinions everywhere but, like you said, I wish the atmosphere of discussion would be more congenial.

I will not let it derail my efforts, though, because I am determined to establish my blogging as a long-term endeavor and eventual income stream. I understand that a lot of people also see that as a crime.

Trinity said...

It's very unfortunate but it's usually fellow Pinoys who will try to destroy you when you are doing well. It's called the "crab mentality" and frankly it scares me. I think I'll follow your example and remove myself from the Pinoy Blogosphere. I know it has nothing to do with Andrew dela Serna's ratified.org, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. ;)

MJ said...

Don't lose hope, Trinity. I still know of a lot of Filipino bloggers out there who are sincerely helping out fellow bloggers. Let's continue to hope that the best in Filipinos will prevail.

maria2 said...

Manila Mom, think about the water in a glass - is it half full or half empty? If you show the same glass with same amount of water to several people they will give you different answers... you cannot please everybody. the same action will generate a different reaction or response. a lot of people enjoy your blogs. and the "trains" are appropriate to the Manila Mom site. just follow your own instincts.

MJ said...

Thanks, Maria2! I do recognize that there will always be opposing opinions on any subject matter. I guess I'm just naively wishing that people could disagree in a more agreeable fashion :D

SexyMom said...

i really am tecchie challenged, and do not know how to do all these trains and all.

but i just hope the air will clear up soon. we are all created equal in the blogosphere.

marhgil said...

here's my two cents...

Link train is just one way of exchanging links the-easier-way. People link to your blog because you link to them. Is that spamming? I don't think so.

MJ said...

Thanks, Sexy Mom and Marhgil!

Yes, Sexy Mom, bloggers are all equal and deserving of mutual respect.

I agree, Marhgil. What's the difference between blogrolls featuring exchanged links and link trains? Link trains are just faster and bring in much more links.

And when has it been wrong to link to blogs with different topics? So since I don't write about gaming, for example, I'm not supposed to link to my friend's blog on gaming? That's ridiculous!

THE ANiTOKiD said...

Hi ManilaMom! A number of our kababayans expressed their support and took a stand too via their comments.

The links are at
http://anitokid.blogspot.com/2007/06/anitokids-thoughts-on-andrew-dela.html
and
http://anitokid.blogspot.com/2007/06/anitokid-also-bows-out-of-ratifiedorgs.html

Regards to the family, Mom!

THE ANiTOKiD said...

Soul searching on the net? Hmmmm. I just found this interesting comment:

"I have to point out that all the Pinoy blogs that I’ve “ratified” are legit. They all have real content and backlinks. But just like you, I’m surprised to see a few blogs ranking lower than they should. Yes, Technorati has its own quirks, but what I like about it is it doesn’t exclude anyone (who isn’t banned). It doesn’t require registration or javascript code. All I have to do is add a blog and connect to Technorati to pick up its stats. Once the stats are recorded, the blog is ranked immediately. Ratified.org is meant to unite, inspire and promote Filipino bloggers. That is the main reason why I created it."

I'll give you one good guess who posted it, Mom. Better yet, you can have a good look at it here:

http://racoma.com.ph/archives/whats-wrong-with-using-technorati-to-rank-blogs

MJ said...

Your readers are very astute, AnitoKid, and their support strengthens my faith that there are still a lot of our fellow Filipino bloggers who are ready to sincerely help others.

As to the comment you found: I question this person's sincerity in "uniting" and "inspiring" Filipino bloggers. His words to us are definitely not geared toward that.

He says all ratified blogs are legit, then turns around in his comment to my blog saying "it could have been more legit." Can something be "more legit" or "less legit"? It can only be either legitimate or illegitimate.

The comment also implies that he does not agree with Technorati's stats because he wonders why some blogs rank lower than "they should". This also implies he has a subjective ranking of blogs in his own mind, which does not correspond with Technorati stats. Then why use Technorati stats as the basis for his list? Why not just publish his own list of top blogs based on his own opinion?

Like Alice in Wonderland said, this is getting curiouser and curiouser.

I don't mind anyone having their own personal list of top blogs. But if one puts up a list saying it is based on Technorati stats and invites all bloggers to register to be counted, and then turns around to attack those bloggers he believes should not rank that high - well, that is not just self-contradicting but also very insulting.

His site continues to benefit from all the links from all the blogs registered there, yet he insults his own top 20 and all those who have joined trains. Do these bloggers even know what he is saying about them? Well, maybe they don't read his blog. I didn't -not until I followed his link from his comment.

Brown Baron said...

It's Ratified's loss MJ. All he had to do was look at your blog to see that you do publish quality content.
More legit? That's like saying someone is "a little pregnant".

Forget about Ratified.

We're all behind you MJ.

MJ said...

Thank you so much, Brown Baron! I do try my best. If it's not good enough for some then there's nothing I can do about their opinion. I will continue to write for my readers.

THE ANiTOKiD said...

@Brown Baron - Indeed IT IS ratified.org's loss!

@ManilaMom: Just read the comments you posted here and at my site, Mom. I totally agree with you. He himself debunked his own views and thoughts! Tsk.

Dave Q said...

I stand by Andrew of alleba.com on this...

"I hope all the new blood in the blogosphere would concentrate more on developing good, original content, rather than spending hours and hours on shady link exchanges. It’s definitely a virus, the kind that should be cured ASAP."

All we need to do is live up to this instead of mfA, FFAs, and all artificial mechanisms to the effect.

We always, always go the path of least resistance.

MJ said...

And I stand by my belief that joining trains and developing good, original content need not be mutually exclusive.

You acknowledge that we "spend hours and hours" doing these trains and then call it "the path of least resistance." It is quite tedious and time-consuming, too, especially if you do it right by visiting the blogs you are linked with and interacting meaningfully with them. I don't see how this is different from any other kind of blog networking and interaction.

And please don't call these link exchanges shady. I don't mind your contrary opinion against joining - everyone has the right to disagree - but I am saddened by these put-downs, name-calling and denigration from fellow bloggers, especially Filipino bloggers who claim to want to unite and inspire.

bluepanjeet | OTWOMD™ said...

so this explains why.

I just tested the waters of that site because my blog friends referred me to it. After i signed up (3 days ago if I remember it right) still my blog hasn't been indexed even if he updated his list for 3 days already. considering i have a modest technorati rank of 13,784, not really commendable but at least higher than the rest of the top 50 there

I was about to contact the owner and ask why I wasn't qualified but I did not anymore bother since I just wanted to test the credibility of that site. and that I am not really into ranks or stuff because I just blog for passion. Someone kasi whispered to us that the ratified.org only index those blogs that he wants or at least according to his standards. kaya to validate the accusation, I tested it myself.

I googled for the top 100 technorati pinoy blogs for answers on how he came up with his computation and landed here via the search result

with what you have written above, this somehow vindicates "my perception" that the said site has a questionable accuracy and credibility

I hope Pinoy bloggers who are creating this "blog stats and rankings" and asking everyone to join should be objective and accurate enough for a change or we will just be tied to the notion that others are just monopolizing the authority of opinion in the pinoy blogosphere.

just my two cents.

Happy blogging and thank you for this enlightening post

MJ said...

I've actually forgotten about this until your comment came up, bluepanjeet.

I really don'tknow how they are doing their ranking now.I just hope they don't burn sincere bloggers along the way. It really is a damper to one's enthusiasm to find putdowns like this.

But as I tell my own kids, it teaches us to face the real world where not everything is rose-colored. Bullies are everywhere and we need to keep our balance in the face of challenges.

Keep on blogging! :-D

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