Friday, May 02, 2008

Google cleans up Next Blog >> Presses

Back in January 2007 I did a study on next blog button pushes on blogger and blogspot. Google puts a bar across blogpost hosted blogs which lets users, well, log in, post, search or randomly reach another blog. It's really an advert for the service.

I counted how many button pushes it took for me to reach 100 English language non-spam blogs. It took 241 button pushes. I also discovered a lot of spam; in particular redirects to porn sites.

I've repeated this exercise this week and can say that the random button never once took me to porn at all. On a few occasions it took me to a hard sell site that was essentially a spam landing page.

Google's cleaned up the button. So, it is better? Ah... last year it took me 241 button pushes to find 100 English language sites. This year it took 309.

The difference is in non-English blogs. They've doubled from last year. There are a few reasons for this; Wordpress and SixApart are likely to be clawing market share away from Blogger in the UK, Canada and the USA. The Next Button isn't entirely random it; it's reciprocal and some geographic areas (thus languages) may be more likely to press the button than others.

My chart for 2007 looked like this:

The chart for 2008 looks like this: