I haven’t made time recently to find out whose been talking about me and my blog. It’s one of those tasks easily put off. So I thought I’d take you along for the ride to show you how I keep track of whose been talking about me and my blog, and remind you to not put this important blog task off.
Google Blog Search
Google Blog Search helps you track what others are saying about your blog fairly easily. In the search form, use:
This will result in a list of all the blogs indexed by Google’s Blog Search with a link to your blog. WordPress and WordPress.com uses Google Blog Search to track incoming links on the WordPress Dashboard panel, so you can click through to Google Blog Search incoming links to your blog through those links. Luckily, they are the few.
I checked and found a lot of interesting bloggers writing about me or my posts and went visiting to see what they had to say and leave a few comments along the way. I also found inspiration for some blog posts, posts in which I will reference and link back to them, saying something about them and their blogs, too.
For the most part, I found bloggers saying delightful things about my blog, and a lot of positive reinforcement that I’m still blogging down the right path. I also found some splogs and copyright thieves, so it pays to check these out frequently. I also found a few who didn’t have nice things to say about me, which is their right in this world of free speech.
You can use the same search parameters to find out whose talking about you on Google, which includes blogs and websites and whatever Google doesn’t classify as a blog. You are more likely to find content thieves via Google, as well as many splogs. More likely, you will be surprised at who and what has been linking to you.
While Google Blog Search usually gives you the best information about your site’s incoming links, there are other ways of finding out who is blogging about you and your blog.
Technorati can help you track down what others are saying about you on their blogs by replacing
example.com with your blog’s URL minus the http part:
Which now reroutes to
Either will work.
Technorati lists incoming links to your blog chronologically, as does Google Blog Search, so you are seeing the “hot gossip” about your blog in a timely manner.
Unfortunately, as I’m finding with all Technorati lists, feeds, tags, and other results, the first ten incoming links to my blog on Technorati consisted of a lot splogs and scrapers. Some that actually had good “authority” ranking points, too.
Technorati used to be fairly easy to use, but I’m finding it more complicated rather than easier. I clicked on the link to the first legitimate looking post that included a link to my blog. I was taken to their Technorati page described as “Everything in the known universe about X Blog”. Excuse me? I want to see the post that says something about me, not everything they have to say about anything!
A closer look reveals that some of the titles are links to Technorati’s information on the blog and some are to the blog post itself. Not sure why there is the mix, but it appears that if my blog is listed in their blogroll, the link converts to Technorati’s page. If the link is in the blog post, there is a link to the post directly. You can use the search function on Technorati’s blog information page to turn up any posts written about you and your blog, but if you don’t find any, you’re probably on their blogroll and not in their blog posts. It isn’t consistent though.
I also found a lot of comments and “top commenter” counts on the list of those linking to my blog, which aren’t helpful at all. Keep digging and you may find some interesting posts about your blog on Technorati, but I continued to come up with little.
For a long time, WordPress used Technorati for the source of your blog’s incoming links on the Dashboard panel. Then they changed in to Google Blog Search as there were so many complaints and problems with Technorati. Those who weren’t happy with the switch have the option of using the Nusuni Technorati Links WordPress Plugin to redirect your incoming links back to Technorati. But after my recent dig into Technorati, I still think that Google offers a better alternative.
Yahoo Site Explorer
You can use Yahoo to search from the search form for links to your blog with:
Or you can use the Site Explorer by Yahoo which takes your blog on a test run to see how well it’s included in Yahoo, as well as who is linking to your blog.
According to the report, 13,848 pages of my blog were indexed by Yahoo, and there were 26,929 “Inlinks”, their name for incoming links to my blog.
The resulting list is in numerical order by the number of links from that blog to yours. Obviously, Lorelle on WordPress had the most incoming links from the Blog Herald, but what surprised me were the next sites on the list that I’d never heard of at all.
My own site I can understand as I use absolute links, not relative, in my blog posts. I know that Blogging Pro News has linked to a lot of my articles and announcements on WordPress. Alister Cameron I know, as I do Wendy Piersall of eMoms at Home, but have they really linked that much to my blog? I know I’ve linked to theirs. Who are the rest of these bloggers and why are they linking so much to me?
Yahoo Site Explorer has a mouseover effect that allows you to look at the details of the incoming links to your blog. I thought that by clicking on either of those, it would give me the specifics of the links from that blog. Nothing. I had to do a manual search using the above mentioned link search, or use Yahoo’s Advanced Search to look for my name, but restrict the search to that domain only. It was tedious but I made some interesting discoveries.
Many of the sites high on Yahoo Site Explorer’s list for my site’s incoming links had my blog listed in their blogroll, even though they had never written a blog post referencing me or my blog. At least with Yahoo, inclusion in a blogroll list is a good thing.
Filled with hope that Yahoo Site Explorer seemed to exude, I found mostly splogs and scrappers and only a few “legitimate” posts written about me and my blog. The hunt through Yahoo Site Explorer was time consuming and frustrating, but a few treasures were to be found, making it a worthwhile to check once in a while, but not be dependent upon as a source for good incoming link information.
Look around for Advanced Search and then choose “Links to”. Type in your blog’s URL in the resulting search form. The page will sort of reload and add
link:http://lorelle.wordpress.com to the search form at the top of the page, then you have to hit the SEARCH button again to initiate the search. A lot of time-wasting steps for a simple process, I thought.
I recommend you just type in
link:http://lorelle.wordpress.com in the search form and skip the rest of the fuss.
Microsoft’s search feature is well known for being a bit unpredictable with its results. It listed 43 links to my blog found within its index, a dramatic contrast to the hundreds and thousands found on other search sites. While looking down the list and moving from page one to page two of the search results, the number reduced to 26 search results. Very odd.
Most of the results from my incoming link search were from Google Groups, feeds, social bookmarking and site submission services, and a few splogs and content thieves, but who knows, you might find some treasures.
It’s worth checking Microsoft’s Live Search to see how it is monitoring your blog, but I don’t recommend it for any definitive search information or results.
What Will You Find When You Search For Whose Talking About Your Blog?
Which service was the easiest and most informative to work with? Google Blog Search won hands down by my experience. I found many incoming links from great bloggers and blogs. More than I did through a lot of time spent digging and jumping through hoops on the other services. Honestly, from a list of incoming links to my blog, I want only one click to take me to the blog post that is talking about me or my blog. Don’t you?
For the most part, I discovered some wonderful articles that included links to my blog. When appropriate and possible, I thanked them for the inclusion and added to the discussion on their blog. This also gave me a chance to answer any questions they had or concerns about my blog post, or help answer questions their readers had asked. I also got to ask them a few questions about how my article(s) were helping them blog better.
I also took time to dig into their blog content, occasionally finding helpful tips and techniques for using WordPress that I can references here or on my blog, introducing these bloggers to my readers and spreading the link love even further.
It’s important to learn about how trackbacks, referrer links and incoming links tie blogs together. Searching for who is blogging about you helps you get a bigger picture of all we are all interconnected.
You might want to take a few moments to check to see if trackback links are appearing on the blog posts you write about by checking that blog post’s comments and trackback list. If trackbacks aren’t working on your blog, you are missing out on the participatory and interactive nature of blogging.
As I kept digging, I uncovered a lot of great bloggers I’m now getting to know and learning many new things. All because they blogged about me and my blog.