Web Strategy Analysis (Part 1/2): Homepage Breakdown of the top 10 Blogs

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Please read part 2: A break down the top personal tech blogs, notice the difference in advertising use.

Analysis Purpose
To analyze the homepage web strategies of the top blogs in the world

Background
We’re all fascinated and drawn to some of the world’s top blogs, according to incoming links, Technorati has listed the top 10 blogs. (Although that’s not the best way to determine authority) How do blogs get links to them? They do one of two things 1) Be interesting 2) Add Value. As they achieve stardom, the momentum of the brand continues it forward, and the traffic they drive to others increases it further.

Are top blogs afflicted with excess advertising?
As blogs reach nuclear status, it’s interesting to see how they start to monetize from ads, focus less on navigating away from the sites, and how much content they continue to share. At what point does the user experience suffer from excess of advertisements?

Methodology:
I took screen captures at 1400 X 1050, a rather large size. I only took the top page view, so it showed what’s above the fold. I then segmented the content types into five major color keys: Identity (as in self-brand), Navigation, Content, Search, and Advertising. This method is modeled after Jakob Nielsen’s homepage usability book.

Findings
Per Surface area on homepage above fold:

  • Most use of Identity: TMZ
  • Most use of Navigation: Ars Technica
  • Most use of Content: Huffington Post, Ars Technica
  • Most use of Advertisements: Boing Boing, Techcrunch (3 major areas above the fold)
  • Least amountof Advertisements: Post Secret (none), and my blog
  • Most use of Search: TMZ (two for some reason)
  • No use of Search: Techcrunch, Daily Kos (well at least, not above the fold)
  • Most use of White Space: Post Secret

  • 1) Engadget
    Engadget
    Authority: 30,080
    Homepage Analysis: Engadget


    2) Boing Boing
    Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things
    Authority: 25,587
    Homepage Analysis: BoingBoing


    3) Gizmodo
    Gizmodo, the Gadget Guide
    Authority: 23,072
    Homepage Analysis: Gizomodo


    4) Techcrunch
    Techcrunch
    Authority: 21,636
    Homepage Analysis: Techcrunch


    5) Huffington Post
    The Huffington Post
    Authority: 18,344
    Homepage Analysis: Huffington Post


    6) LifeHacker
    Lifehacker, tips and downloads for getting things done
    Authority: 17,166
    Homepage Analysis: Lifehacker


    7) Ars Technica
    Ars Technica: the Art of Technology. News, analysis, and in depth coverage of technology.
    Authority: 16,542
    Homepage Analysis: Ars Technica


    8 ) Daily Kos
    Daily Kos: State of the Nation
    Authority: 12,583
    Homepage Analysis: Daily Kos


    9) Post Secret
    PostSecret: ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.
    Authority: 12,294
    Homepage Analysis: Post Secret


    10) TMZ
    TMZ.com
    Authority: 11,360
    Homepage Analysis: TMZ


    1309) Web Strategy By Jeremiah
    Web Strategy by Jeremiah: Jeremiah discusses how companies use the web to connect with customers. While not a top 10 blog, it’s my blog, and therefore I can analyze it. I don’t have ads on for a few reasons: 1) I don’t have significant enough traffic to sustain more than beer money. 2) I’d rather gain trust from my audience bringing good content than worrying that I may reduce credibility by putting ads on the site.
    Authority: 1,375
    Homepage Analysis: Web Strategy by Jeremiah

    Comments? Questions?
    Submit your own homepage analysis, take a screenshot, go into photoshop and do the overlay. Use the colors I set in the color key and set opacity to around 60%. Leave a comment to your screenshot