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Great job indeed!

Just a remark (please note that I’m not an expert of the Google engine's mysteries).

If, after making the main search (the one that gives the figures you publish) you go actually ahead in listing the referenced links (for example clicking on the “next links pages”) you’ll get normally the following message from Google:

“In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the XXX already displayed.”

Just as a try, I have done this for the following links, and got these (interesting!) results for the XXX figure:

The Rest is Noise: 226 (out of 6910)
Sounds & Fury: 218 (out of 2790)
Mostly Opera: 314 (out of 1080)

Now, the (silly?) suggestion is: why not refine the results, based on this additional figure (XXX)?

Thank you again!

Daland: The incoming link count used for the S&F Top 50 is the *total* link count, including those links not displayed in the initial pass (i.e., the "omitted entries"). There's no way to determine how or why Google displays the links it displays on that initital pass and omits others, and therefore no way to incorporate that data into the rank number.


As of this morning, The Collaborative Piano Blog has 531 backward links.


I don't recall reading on your posting where people can generate a listing of backlinks.

Just do a Google search with the following terms:

link:[url of site]

The resulting search results will list the number of backlinks just below and to the right of the search box.

Chris: Your blog is not included in the eligible blogs list. If you think it ought to be included, please leave a comment in the comments section of that list of eligible blogs giving the name and link of your blog. If it's determined it should be included in that list, it will be included in the run for rankings for the next quarterly ranking.


I'm no expert, but I think the reason Google omits certain search results is that, in the case of a search like this, it recognizes that the link appears in the same context more than once. For instance, if parterre.com includes a website in its blogroll, that link appears next to every post La Cieca makes, and she usually posts more than once a day. Therefore the smaller number is much more valuable.

Another problem with this method is that it doesn't seem that Google filters out, for instance, links to Overgrown Path from Overgrown Path. It's a site I've certainly enjoyed reading, but since every post Pliable pens includes a link to himself (and, again, he posts every day), this is bound to skew your results.

All in all, I don't see that this is a very useful set of numbers.

Thanks for compiling this ACD!

I think my (non)positioning has suffered due to having two completely separate pages that are commonly linked to, each with distinct numbers of incoming links. While some people link to classicalconvert.com/blog (such as yourself) which has a link number of 173, most (e.g. Omniscient M, Kenneth Woods, Robin Hill, Musical Perceptions, etc.) link to classicalconvert.com, which provides an additional 250 incoming links.

Dan: On the Overgrown Path thing, please read my methodology again. No skewing there at all.

In the Parterre Box case, Google makes internal adjustment for such cases, and its algorithm "knows" how to parse such multiple appearances of an outgoing link. Again, no skewing.

No-one is suggesting that this method of ranking is the best of all possible worlds. It's merely the best available at present. The only alternative is Technorati, and that's a total joke.


Ben: The ranking here is for blogs, not websites; ergo, classicalconvert.com/blog is the correct link for this ranked list.



I suspected that would probably be your reasoning.

The thing is, each blog post is actually posted on that front page, and hence this is the location that most bloggers link to in their "blogroll". Most people do not distinguish between the two locations when referencing my blog. I think that most of the links to classicalconvert.com are intended as links to the blog, hence their presence in the "blogroll" area, and that is certainly where I get the majority of my hits from.

Of course, no methodology is perfect. I'm just disappointed that this means my blog will not be appearing on this list for a long, long time despite being quite widely linked to when compared to others in the list.

I read the methodology, thanks. Now read your own Google results. When one allows "omitted results," the top three hits for the search link:www.soundsandfury.com are two Parterre.com pages that don't even mention you, except in the blogroll, followed by your own page. That's two results from a single link, plus one result from self-reference.

Try it with link:www.overgrownpath.com, and Pliable supplies his own third and fourth search results. Now try it with a blog nobody reads, and you'll really see what I mean: link:danielstephenjohnson.blogspot.com comes up with a measly 36—a sad number, but you'll quickly realize it should be even sadder when you start to count them. Almost all of those links are my own! On my blog, in the comments section of other blogs, and from another blog I write for. Compare that to the refreshingly unselflinking Alex Ross, who doesn't even turn up in his own top 10, and I think you'll start to see what I mean. If he started linking the way Overgrown Path links, his number would go up obscenely.

Google's safeguards are good, but they have to be taken with a grain of salt. Clearly, beyond a certain point, these rankings are going to be heavily weighted in favor of blogs referred to by themselves and by the classical superblogs.

Ben: I just checked your site's main page, and only the single latest blog post shows up there. For the purpose of this ranked list, that page can't be considered your blog's main page. It's your *site's* main page. My suggestion is that you contact all those who have your site's main page linked, and have them link the blog instead. In very short order (one quarter, or two at the most), that will be reflected in your Google incoming links list, and your blog rank will rise accordingly.


Dan: I just did with S&F what you did, and I see one link from Parterre (the first link on the page), which is perfectly legitimate, and the following one from one of my own archive pages, which is also perfectly legitimate because the PageRank of that archive page is high enough to stand in as proxy for my main page which was explained in the methodology. Ditto with Overgrown Path. A perfectly legitimate count -- in both cases (S&F and Overgrown Path)..

As to your blog, your index (main) page PageRank and your incoming link count are so low that Google gives it a default “credit,” so to speak, by using the internal links on your own pages so that your main page doesn’t come up with a PageRank near 0 (theoretically, a page with a PageRank of 0 doesn’t exist at all). I can’t be more specific than that as it’s easier to get gold out of Fort Knox than to get from Google the details of their algorithms. I’m just passing on to you what was told to me.

Again, I’m not suggesting that this way of ranking blogs is the absolute bee’s knees and the ultimate way to go. It’s merely the most sensible and statistically “clean” method available at present.


Dude, I can't believe you didn't include Sequenza21/ at http://www.sequenza21.com/index.php.

They should be #5 on your list with a 2800 reading on the Google juice meter. Oh, right. You're #5.

Though I can't begin to understand the logic of this highly impressive list, it is an honor to be in such company.

(I'm fine with rhythms, but algorithms are Greek to me.)

Nice to be 21! Although I must confess I'm happier at this age than I was back then.

But I sure don't understand how you get the numbers! I'm an oboe player. Numbers aren't our thing.

Btw, my URL is http://oboeinsight.com ... no www, although that WILL get you to the right place. :-)

Patty: I know your correct URL is absent the www prefix, but Google doesn't recognize it for reasons unfathomable (it reports back that oboeinsight.com "does not match any documents"). Drove me nuts. I finally capitulated and used www.oboeinsight.com so that Google would recognize the URL and report back an incoming link count. Don't know what's going on with that, but as Joseph II was wont to say, "There it is."


Much like the problem Patty just pointed out, Google's faults run even deeper. Unfortunately, anyone using a typepad account which allows users to map a blog URL to a domain name will produce a very inaccurate Google backlist score. For example, the blog "Sticks and Drones" can be reached at sticksanddrones.com but the Google Backlink score for that URL is 0. However, search for adaptistration.com/sticksanddrones and the score is 243 (and should therefore be on your list along with Arts Addict - 427).

Even adaptistration.com and the URL which typepad assigns the blog (adaptistration.com/adaptistration) produce different backlink scores (625 and 88 respectively). As such, you'll need to:

1. adjust all of the scores above to take this inconsistency into account.
2. find a more quantifiable method for determining page rank.
3. clarify the typepad discrepancy in the ranking criteria and indicate those blogs which use typepad.

Hmmm. I thought I plugged my addie in without the www and got somewhere. But maybe I was somewhere other than where I was supposed to be.

That happens a lot. :-)

I guess I lied. Now I can't even find the place where I plugged in my (correct) address. Maybe I only dreamt that.

So how DOES one find back links? Just curious!

Drew: I'm sorry, but I don't follow you.

First, Sounds & Fury is a TypePad blog with a mapped domain name, and Google has no problem with its Backward Links count for the blog (www.soundsandfury.com). That's because I followed the mapping directions TypePad suggests for such mapping which is to set one's DNS using C record aliasing (which means one must use the www prefix), not A record hard coding. And Google had no problem with Backward Links for your TypePad mapped domain name either (www.adaptistration.com) as is clear from your ranking in the S&F Top 50. And sticksanddrones.com automatically redirects to www.adaptistration.com/sticksanddrones which is why Google has nothing for sticksanddrones.com which is precisely how it should be.

I think you misunderstand how this works, Drew.


Patty: To do it manually, go to Google and type in the search box, "link:" (without the quote marks, of course, but don't leave out the colon) followed without a space by the URL of the page of interest. For a blog, that URL would be the URL of the blog's index (main) page.


Drew: Forgot to mention that if you want "Sticks and Drones" to be considered for eligibility for the S&F Top 50, please go to the Eligible Blogs page (link is on S&F's right sidebar), and leave a note in the comments section with the blog name and URL requesting listing.


Typepad's domain mapping instructions are indeed quite clear and they have been implemented for my blog in precisely the same method you implemented for your blog. However, that doesn't guarantee that Google's backlink algorithms produce accurate results as is the case with separate backlink scores for www.adaptistration.com and www.adaptistration.com/adaptistration.

If you go back a short period of time, www.adaptistration.com used to simply redirect to the URL I used when the blog was hosted at Arts Journal, but it still produced a Google backlink score even though there was no domain mapping. Nevertheless, sticksanddrones.com redirects to adaptistration.com/sticksanddrones in precisely the same way but produces no backlink.

The result is that anyone trying to put together a ranked list such as yours will have to apply some additional legwork other than that which is currently employed in order to produce accurate results.

Nevertheless, lists such as this are always fun regardless of which method it uses or how thorough it is.

Thanks for the tip about submitting S&D, I don't own the blog but will pass that along to the blog's authors. Although it's a relatively new blog, I'm surprised it wasn't originally considered when you put together the original list (same with Jason Heath's Arts Addict blog).

Drew: Since the URL, www.adaptistration.com/adaptistration is a link almost no-one uses, it should have a low Backward Links count. Google is reporting that exactly right.


Drew: When I drew up (NPI) the list of eligible blogs, I included only those known to me personally. That's why I set up the Eligible Blogs page along with a request for readers of S&F to leave in the comments section of that page the names of blogs they thought ought to be on that list but weren't. I'll look at those comments about once a month, and check out all the recommendations myself to determine their eligibility for consideration for the S&F Top 50.


Regardless of the amount of readers who use one URL over another, if two or more URL's exist and they generate separate backlink scores, then wouldn't that be something worth indicating in the rankings as it impacts a blog's score in one way or another?

Again, I'll pass along the info about submitting a blog for consideration to S&D's authors. In the meantime, you should visit their blog as you're missing out on some good material - same with Jason's Arts Addict, Joe Patti's Butts In The Seats (which has been around for years), and Brian Dickie's Chicago Opera Theater blog (also around for years).

Drew: The incoming link count for URL, www.adaptistration.com/adaptistration, is an artifact of Google's early spidering of your blog. The incoming link count for your blog's index page URL, www.adaptistration.com, includes the incoming link count for www.adaptistration.com/adaptistration. It's simply that Google hasn't had enough time to "learn" that it shouldn't double-report incoming links addressed specifically to that longer address, but that both www.adaptistration.com and www.adaptistration.com/adaptistration are the same page and therefore should have exactly the same incoming link count. If you have the Google Toolbar, check the PageRank for both URLs. They're exactly the same which would be impossible if that longer URL was really treated by Google as a separate page with a separate incoming link count as its very low incoming link count (88), most of which count comes from counting your own blog's internal links, would result in a PageRank for that page way lower than the PageRank for www.adaptistration.com. IOW, adding the incoming link counts for the two URLs would result in an inflated link count, not a true one.

To see this for yourself, take a look at S&F's two TypePad URLs (www.soundsandfury.com and www.soundsandfury.com/soundsandfury) and you'll see what I mean. The incoming link count is the same for both URLs because S&F has been at that address for some four years and so Google has over time "wised up" and now "knows" that the two pages are really the same page, and therefore should have exactly the same count and listing of incoming links.

As for those blogs you recommended, please enter them in the comments section of the Eligible Blogs page along with their URLs and I'll check them out within a month or so when I review all those comments.


The first two blogs I ever read were 1.) yours and 2.) Alex's. In fact, before happening upon S&F and TRIN, I'd never even heard of that dopey four-letter word. May the 'Fury long prosper.

While the discussion of methodologies is somewhat interesting (and often gets to the point of generating a small amount of warmth [as here] and outright flaming [as elsewhere]) I'd suggest that those of you who are using your blogs to generate income or for marketing purposes might consider using a commercial service to find out what your relative ranking might be (i.e. Jupiter or a similar company), since this is doesn't seem to be intended to be a bullet-proof benchmark service here at S&F. Just a thought.

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