The other day, I posted a list of the Top Ten Posts on this blog. I used Google Analytics’ measure of “top content” to create that list.
Top Content according to Google Analytics is page views. But does that really equate to popularity?
Aside: Postrank tried to change our perceptions of “top” content, looking at visitor engagement rather than merely visits. I loved the concept, but unfortunately had trouble with hosting the widget on this blog and finally removed it after several months of no results.
So how do you want to define popularity, or top content? Really, it depends on what you’re hoping to achieve. If I want to know what posts are bringing people to my site, the list I posted is appropriate. If I want to know what posts elicited a response in people / caused them to forward, retweet or comment, that would likely be an entirely different list. Arguably, determining what it was about those posts that interested people would be a bit more challenging: and if I really wanted to geek out about it, I could figure out which posts elicited the most feedback per eyeball by cross-referencing the two lists.
There are plenty of tools out there to get data about your content or activities online. The tricky part is figuring out how to turn the data into meaningful information, and how to learn from it.