How Quickly Does the A-list Change?

Posted on February 20, 2006

There are lots of highlights from New York Magazine's Blog to Riches article which discusses blogs and the A-list -- with a focus on Technorati 100. Most of the content in the article is probably familiar to people who regularly read up on the blogosphere. This particular excerpt discusses how quickly the A-list can change and why frequent postings are important.
Huffington showed that it was still possible to quickly move up to the top of the charts. "You think the A-list is the A-list is the A-list," says David Sifry, the CEO of Technorati. "But I'm telling you, boy, does it shift-and does it shift fast." Cultural winds can drive blogs in and out of favor: When Sifry founded Technorati in 2002, many of the bloggers on his top-100-most-linked list were computer geeks, such as journalist Doc Searls and programmer Dave Winer. But as blogging grew to encompass politics and pop culture, Searls dropped to No. 96 and Winer to No. 126.

What's more, a blog is like a shark: If it stops moving, it dies. Without fresh postings every day-hell, every few minutes-even the most well-linked blog will quickly lose its audience.
It is probably obvious to most that frequent updates are one of the keys to blog traffic. To move into the Technorati 100 a blog has to gather more inbound links than the lowest blog on the list -- as of this writing that blog is Treehugger with 2,200 inbound links. If one of the blogs on the Technorati 100 "starts sucking" (like John Battelle suggested) they risk being passed by a blog that is growing quickly in popularity.

But in some ways Technorati's A-list has changed while in other ways some blogs are becoming more permanent fixtures on the A-list. Blogs like Boing Boing, Post Secret, Daily Kos and Engadget seem to be almost set in stone now with over 10,000 inbound links each. The Huffington Post, which has over 8,500 inbound links, may have a shot at catching up to them. A look at Boing Boing's inbound links on Technorati shows that Boing Boing gets about 20 new inbound links every hour or two. The rate is similar for the other highly ranked blogs on the Technorati 100. But for blogs ranked farther down the list the inbound link rate slows to about 20 new inbound links every 24 hour period. The very top blogs appear to be increasing the distance between them and the rest of the Technorati A-list. The A-list may "shift fast" as David Sifry suggests, but a blog will have to accumulate an enormous amount of links very quickly to climb into one of these very top positions.

While the top A-list spots may be slowly locking up has a post that shows a dynamic a-list with many blogs that were listed in the Technorati 100 on May 19, 2005 now gone.