Until this week, online influence rating service Klout failed to earn the respect of media influentials, which obviously is more than a little embarrassing. That has now changed.
The Klout Controversy
Klout measures online influence via such actions as comments, likes, and shares, depending upon the respective social media channel. You can learn more about how your Klout score is calculated here.
One inherent challenge for Klout is that not all measured actions carry the same weight. For example, retweeting a well researched and written article is a much more valuable action than retweeting “I love my cat!”
Klout recognizes this, and has made adjustments in their algorithm to accommodate higher quality actions – much as Google is doing since their Panda and Penguin updates. One of the means for accomplishing this is giving weight to Wikipedia pages. This makes perfect sense given the level of scrutiny and links associated with that source.
So, what about the rest of us?
While this is purely speculation, consider the fact that Google controls approximately 2/3 of search here in the United States (more in other parts of the globe) and that they are making Google+ the linchpin to other Google properties such as Places pages, in addition to links to other sources of your content on the web.
If you have not already, you will be smart to invest more of your time into Google+ because it could arguably become the “common mans Wiki.”
Give the Web What it Wants
Many of us have seen our Klout scores jump dramatically with the recent update, while others have risen just a few points. The reason is that just like Google, Klout now favors content creators. This is outstanding news for any business that has accumulated experience and a body of knowledge that they are actively sharing on the web.
The web is driven by problems searching for answers. Give the web what it wants.
If you have valid expertise and experience, that is your ticket to both favorable search rankings and a higher Klout score.
Influence is Tangible
Klout is also now incorporating offline influence into its program to better measure ones true influence. One way they are doing this is using your position title on LinkedIn. Thus, while having a perfect 100 score in the earlier Klout system, Justin Bieber now rightfully ranks lower than President Obama.
Maybe there is a keyword or two you need to add to your LinkedIn profile.
You may not have a robust online presence, but you still have influence where it matters most – in the real world. And in nearly every arena that influence is in some way moving online. It’s inevitable.
What this means for businesses is that Klout now deserves your attention. One of the more notable examples is that of a talented marketing executive who lost an opportunity because his Klout score was artificially low due only to his ignorance of Klout.
As the acknowledged leader of the free world, President Obama clearly has clout, and nearly all of also do within our circles of influence – the communities we serve. It only makes sense to expand that influence by acknowledging a metric that is beginning to gain traction.
Klout is not a perfect system – but it’s getting better, and that’s why you should take some time to learn more.
It comes down to this. You may not believe in Klout, but if those who can hire you do, doesn’t it deserve your attention?
Do you think Klout is ready for prime time?
Leave a comment below – and share this with your community.
Until next time, Jeff