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October 9, 2005

Link Citation as a Proxy for Value

People follow links. Search engines also act as users, and largely determine document quality scores based on linkage data. Based on the direct and indirect value links are a great proxy for value.

After the AOL purchase of Weblogs, Inc., Tristan Louis quickly created a chart of blog value based on the number of sources.

Based on a selling price of $25 to $40 million the value of a source linking to your site is anywhere from $564.64 to $903.42.

The average link is not worth that much. The biggest things that the study failed to account for are:

  • The value of links widely ranges. I have bought links for $3, and have also paid thousands for a link.
  • The average link quality of the Weblogs, Inc. network is higher than the average link quality of the average blog.
  • The reason their average link quality is higher is that Jason Calacanis has built significant linkage data through PR efforts with traditional media.
  • If you pulled those media links out of the equasion I bet the Weblogs, Inc. network would be lucky to get more than half their current traffic volume.
  • I do not think Technoroti tracks most traditional media websites.

Tristan then questions:

Should we now assume that traditional media companies are willing to pay between $500 and $1000 per site that links into a blog?

As mentioned above, reducing links down to average and then just looking at Technorati sources leaves much to be desired.

Jason Calacanis was quick to discount the value of the linkage data in the deal. Jason also frequently talks about how Weblogs, Inc. spends no money on marketing. If you are not spending money on marketing then your value comes from the attention you get other ways, and most of that is driven through the link popularity.

You could get a more accurate view of their link popularity by looking through Yahoo! linkage data, but it would take a while to filter through that many sites.

  • [linkdomain:www.engadget.com] = 1,810,000
  • You can view through the linkage data and filter out sites, but when they have around 100 sites in their network that gets to be a good bit of effort.
  • If you wanted to filter out their cross linking the best way would be to filter out the network links on one of the smaller channels that is only a few months old. Then you know you can subtract that much link popularity from each site as being due to cross network linkage data.

Profitablility, attention, and influence are the real measure of a blog’s value, but attention & influence are hard to measure.

The real reason I mentioned this link = value measurement is that Tristen threw out something debatable that many people are absolutely going to love to link at. Wow, my blog is worth X is probably going to appear on hundreds of blogs.

Some amazingly well known bloggers have already syndicated the idea:

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