How do we define top blogs or best blogs today?
How do you define top blogs, and then top Indian blogs?
We were asked this when we started compiling the directory of best Indian blogs, way back in 2010 end and we are asked this question again and again.
Let me share that initially, we compiled the directory by assigning a value to many parameters of regularity, quality, design, engagement, etc to each blog that we scanned. We also had Alexa score and Google PageRank to further rank blogs. Technorati and DMoz public website listing were other useful indicators of a blog's standing.
Except for Alexa, we do not have these scores, but we do not miss them, not for deciding which blogs to call top blogs. Assigning relative values to different parameters and assigning a benchmark to each parameter were cumbersome; you moved the slider a bit and a number of blogs good in one aspect were wiped out while some others came in.
After two years, we realized that the algorithm-based listing was not capturing real strengths and weaknesses of a blog, and in the context of its subject, originality, etc. The ranking process was mechanical and the compilation had a stamp of it. So, we started manual compilation of all listings of top blogs.
In the initial years, we had to work very hard as we had, at one time, about 50,000 blogs in our database, and blogs used to be created at a fast pace. Now, we have a very natural way of compiling blogs manually - as we would pick up ripe fruits from a garden by getting an overall feel of the fruit. Of course, for initial screening of blogs, we still apply some numerical filters.
What is a 'top blog'?
In our opinion, after compiling the directory of best Indian blogs and the directory of best Hindi blogs for about 11 years, a blog can be called best blog or top blog when it meets a minimum standard in major blogging parameters and excels in at least one of them. These parameters can be:
- Quality of content. It must be original; in case of compilation of content from others, it should be presentable and not a copy-paste job. It should be informative/ analytical/ educative/ advisory; if it is creative writing, it should be worth being published in a mid-rung magazine; if it is personal, it should still look like a presentable diary of a thinking/ experienced person.
- The content must NOT be inappropriate (having abusive language, hatred, uncalled for nudity, etc).
- The blog's 'user experience' should not be below average. Too many ads, popups that stick, irritating animations, etc lead to a poor user experience.
- Design. Blog design should not be unappealing or grotesque. It should not be such that the written part is unreadable. Colors, patterns, fonts, and various design elements should generally be OK - not misbehaving or in extreme.
- Technical and security aspects. The blog should not have content that makes it technically bad or suspicious in terms of cybersecurity. For example, it should not have wrong redirections or malicious code.
- Engagement. Though blogs do not need to accept comments or have interactivity in other forms, interactivity adds value to the blog.
- Purpose or relevance of content. As Google's Search Quality Rater Guidelines say, Google rates a webpage high only if its content serves the purpose for which it is created. We feel, the same is true for the entire website or blog.
- Regularity of updation. A blog is not a blog, not to speak of its being a top blog, if it is not updated regularly. Of course, the frequency of content updation need not always be too high as it depends according to the subject, audience expectation, length of each post, etc.
Drawing from the above, we have been calling a blog as top or best Indin blog when the blog meets the minimum standards of quality, etc and is either maintained by an Indian or is on India.
If you reached here in search of what is a blog or what is the meaning of blogging in today's context, please visit this post: What is blogging in 2021?