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Web Site Measurement Hacks by Eric T. Peterson

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Measure Content Syndicated via RSS

An emerging frontier in web measurement is the ability to track weblog readership, referrals, and link out clicks. No known vendors support weblog measurement directly, but this surprisingly simple hack will show you how to do it yourself!

Given the attention paid to weblogs and the blogosphere in general, it is surprising that no vendors have stepped up to provide a solution to measure content syndicated via really simple syndication (RSS). I personally have been blogging in the dark via my employer’s web site for over a year, always wondering “Who reads this stuff and what do they say about it?” It turns out there are a few things you can do to measure reach and acquisition for your syndicated content, depending on how involved you want to get, your particular web measurement application, and the RSS publication platform you publish from.

Easy Things You Can Do to Measure RSS Readership

If you’re only trying to figure out who is linking to your posts, not necessarily how many people are reading or which links they’re clicking, Bloglines (www.bloglines.com) provides an excellent tool for doing exactly that. Their search for pages linking into a URL accepts the location of your weblog (for example, http://weblogs.jupiterresearch.com/analysts/peterson/) and tells you who is linking to you (Figure 3-12).

Bloglines citation search

Figure 3-12. Bloglines citation search

Bloglines ...

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