Update: Although I wouldn't try to read these 68 eMarketing websites simultaneously, I realized that some people would be interested in integrating this A-list into a their RSS reader. Therefore, I made a Google Reader bundle of these websites. The bundle page includes subscription button for Google Reader users as well as link to an OPML file for other readers users
Of course I could add them to Google Reader, but as time went by it would get hard to read all the posts in chronological order.
So then I would probably just use Google Reader's search feature to research new subjects.
That has two main drawbacks:
- Google Reader can order posts only by publication date
- Some feeds have only an excerpt so we can't use full-text search.
That's why a custom-built search engine is more efficient.
Instead of using trial and error in adding and removing blogs I thought it would be nice if to start with a list of authoritative blogs.
Finding The Authoritative Search Blogs
Source 1: Alexa
Over the years, there've been many critics about the Alexa ranking, and there are plenty ways to game its ranking. There is even one search engine that screens Alexa top ranked websites. Stil, Alexa Rank became a status symbol.
In any case, Alexa is probably the most reliable traffic measurement tool today. But, as Alexa states, only the top 100,000 results should be regarded as reliable. (I.e. if one website is ranked higher then other website and both are ranked less than 100K , it's probably has more traffic than the other).
Source 2: MyWOT
The WOT (Web Of Trust) service tries to help user establish the level of trust of a site through its toolbar which lets users rate websites trust.
Although there is critique on its evaluation methods and reliability the more than 600 million user community poses a serious reputation risk for website owners.
Again, while it may rate some websites unfairly, a real eMarketing firm should know by now how to protect its deal with negative reviews. In addition, if a website is really one of the top 100K websites it should probably have enough proponents in this community, and if not they probably gained traffic in illegitimate ways.
Source 3: Technorati Niche Authority
I found about 190 websites using these sources. Now it was time to weed out the best from the good.
Techorati has a ranking system for niche authority, butit has two drawbacks: it has unclear algorithm and there isn't category for eMarketing (the closest category is probably 'business').
In order to make evaluation as transparent as possible, I decided to use the 'Categories' view in Blekko's 'SEO Tools'. Using the Blekko /seo-blogs slashtag set to a minimum of 1000 inbound links I gathered the final most authoritative 68 search related websites. Those I copied them into Google CSE to create a custom search engine.
In order to optimize my Google CSE I used some of the platform's advanced features. First, I used the keyword 'marketing' to focus the search results. Second, since eMarketing is very dynamic field, I added the option to sort results by date. Finally, I used background and refinement labels to eliminate results from 'jobs boards', 'forums', and 'tools' sections from the main SERP and move them to the appropriate refinement labels.