Working from Google hits, Ms. Bauer reports market share:
- 30% - Blogger
- 23% - Live Journal
- 15% - TypePad
- 7% - Diaryland
- 7% - Movable Type
- 18% - other
She cautions that some blogs are invisible (dark blogosphere) and some are hyperlocal (linking within communities).
Why are some blogging tools or platforms more Google friendly than others, at least in terms of this kind of study?
- Strong vs. Weak Template Branding. Some tools make it easy to hide the makers 's mark on your weblog. As more people use pre-built templates from hosted services like The Big Four (Blogger, LJ, TP, and DiaryLand), they are more likely to keep the "powered by" link, than bother to remove it.
- Ping Power. How does a search engine know you've updated? One way is that your blogging tool says so. Ping servers receive a short notice that your site is updated. Does the vendor default to public notification of updates to your site? Do they notify more than one ping server? If so, search engines like Google and Technorati are more likely to discover more blogs and more pages on those blogs.
- Per-Post-Privacy. Live Journal, Xanga, and other tools provide access control for each post. This means that while your home page may be public, many of your blog post archive pages are hidden. This reduces both page count and new blog discovery.
- Family Plans. Does the vendor build in incentives for users to pimp their friends, bringing others into a platform and to use the same tool? For example, SixApart has commentor authentication (single-sign-on) across all TypePad and many Movable Type sites. You can't share your private Live Journal post with a friend unless she registers. AOL lets you blend relationships across media, from your buddies' IMs to their weblogs to their emails. This keeps the brand prominent and visible to Google.
- Built-In Search. Blogging tools that use in-house search don't push Google to recrawl existing weblogs.
- SEO'd Templates. There's a whole profession of Search Engine Optimization. This affects ranking and visibility. Some vendors templates are more SEOptimized than others.
- Off-Brand Software. Firms like Movable Type and pMachine make software. They run on private servers, not hosted. This means it's more likely to be completely debranded. Even though Google may crawl the page, it may not link back to the vendor, and won't show up in a search for "pMachine".
Other market share questions to ask:
- Share of active users? Millions of weblog pages discovered by Google are on unborn (never got started) or dead weblogs.
- Contrast with other search engines? Are all search engines equal?
- By country? Blogging platforms popular in Iran, Poland, and China didn't make the list.
- Behind firewalls? Perhaps by survey methods.
- Share of paying users? What's the share of those willing to pay for weblog software or hosting?
- Share by use? Diarists vs. Individual Blogger vs. Workplace Blogs.
via Marc's Voice.