Ever since we were kids, the nature of most schools has been to encourage strong competition amongst the students. Everyone achieves grades, marks, scores, progress reports and rankings. Rankings determine where we stand in the competition, and possibly even considered a measure of our self-worth or importance. Even though group projects and collaborative efforts were encouraged in high school and college, you still get assigned that individual rank at some point. Whether it be your position in the graduating class or the way a professor curved an exam, you found yourself compared to the rest of the pack. Quite possibly you were the Leader Of The Pack. If you graduated first in your high school class, you just might be a current MIT, Harvard or Yale student or graduate. So in some cases that number is your life and beyond. Is the same true for blogging and website rankings though? A very provocative question.
First off, here's the ranks you might be interested in as a blogger/site owner:
1) Alexa Rank - This number which some say is less significant than other ranks shows your traffic levels for your blog or site. The lower the number, the more visits your blog or site is getting. It measures you against the millions of other blogs and sites in the world wide web universe. Download Alexa toolbar here and you can check and monitor your rank in the lower corner of your web browser. Alexa Rank usually updates on a month to month basis.
The Monetizer's current Alexa rank is: 421,137 (meaning there's 421,136 blogs or sites which receive more traffic online).
2) Google PageRank - Assigns a number, 1-10 which is the importance of your web page in Google's world. It's based on things such as backlinks from other quality ranking sites and helps your search engine position. It's Google's way of telling you how your site matters to them or not. Many have started to disregard this rank as well, because Google has started to drop the ranks of those selling text links, or doing paid reviews. Google basically has rules for your rank, in order to keep their business going strong.
The Monetizer's current Google PageRank is 3.
3) Technorati Rank - Technorati defines this as "the number of sources that point to a weblog, relative to another weblog". The more sources that reference a weblog, the higher the Technorati ranking. So it's an authority rank for your particular blog genre or niche. Sign up for Technorati and add your blog if you haven't yet. For comparison sake, one of the top make money bloggers, John Chow has a rank of 41 and Authority of 5,807. The way these ranks work, you want a lower Technorati rank number and a higher authority number.
The Monetizer's current Technorati Rank is 170,597 with an authority of 46.
4) 45n5 Top 100 Money Making Blogs list - This list would only matter to those of us in the "Make Money Online" niche of blog sites. It's a rank nonetheless and a fun one to watch. 45n5.com keeps a Top 100 list of the Make Money Online blogs (make sure to submit yours). The ranking here is based on the 3 ranks mentioned above (PageRank, Technorati and Alexa). It allows bloggers in the Make Money blog realm to measure their blog against the others in the highly saturated and competitive field. If you're in this niche, I recommend you head over there and add yourself, just for kicks, and the extra traffic value of being displayed on the list. It's not going to give you hundreds of visits (unless you're top 20 maybe), but its a nice place to be listed. The Top 3 right now are: Problogger, Shoemoney and JohnChow.
The Monetizer's current 45n5 Top Make Money Blogs rank is 190.
5)IZEA Real Rank - This is a newcomer to the list and some say the least relevant rank right now. IZEA developed this in response to the whole PageRank penality phase by Google. IZEA is the recently new owner of PayPerPost, and they created the RealRank to allow members of PPP to still obtain paid blogging opportunities. Many bloggers have said Real Rank doesn't solve anything in combating the effects of the Google penalization though. RealRank is a flat rank, with a calculated score for each blog they track. The resulting scores are sorted to assign each blog a rank from 1 to n. It's based on code installed into your blog or site which measures visits your blog gets. You can read more about RealRank here.
The Monetizer's current IZEA RealRank is 861.
Those tend to be 5 ranks that bloggers will look at (four ranks - if you're not in the Make Money niche). Each has it's own importance and the Monetizer says that these ranks can be quite good for you, but don't obsess over them. I agree with those who say don't sweat them, or don't worry if you lose a rank, but overall the ranks can give you a good gauge of how well your doing. It's most important if you're relatively new to blogging, SEO and marketing, because you're able to measure and see your blog's progress. There's a positive effect in seeing a rank climb and striving to make it higher. It's probably a carryover effect from how we were taught to compete in school. And in the competition online, many bloggers and site owners use the ranks as advertising points when joining payed review sites, or selling ads, links or reviews independently. To say ranks are meaningless and to ignore them would be a bad idea, as they can only give you a positive and hopefully realistic measure of how well your doing in your blogging ventures.
So don't look at rankings as a popularity contest. Don't be too upset if you're not ranked high right away. You should also be concerned with the number of RSS Subscribers you have. This gives you an idea of possibly loyal readers and followers of your blog. While it's not really a rank, it's probably the best indication of whether or not people want to come back to see what you have to say.