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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Number One Beer Blog in America

Yesterday morning, as I was making my first pass through the Twitterverse, I espied this missive from Brady "Running Man" Walen:

Good to see fellow beer bloggers @ @ & @ on 's Top Beer Blogs this month

Top beer blogs--what's this? Well, if you follow the bitly link (through Libya!), you arrive at a site called Wikio, which collects lists of the "top blogs" in various categories. Important stuff like "paper crafts," "plush art," "shoes," and of course, "beer." Now, if you think I'm trying to belittle the rankings, wait'll you get a load of what they have at the top of the list:

Really, me?--I'm just so shocked. First of all, I'd like to thank my wife and my mom and my bartender and...

Seriously, it's really cool, and I was really shocked. Who knew? Moreover, Oregon bloggers are really rockin' it: #5 Brewpublic, #9 The New School, #15 The Brew Site, and #24 It's Pub Night. Fully 20% of the top 25--not bad. Add a couple from Washington, and the NW was definitely pulling its weight. (In fact, it looks like half are from the West Coast.)

But let's add a few caveats. Wikio doesn't base it on traffic--a fact I figured instantly, knowing my own traffic. They say:
The Wikio rankings do not take into account either the Google PageRank or traffic of your blog. We use our own algorithm....

The position of a blog in the Wikio ranking depends on the number and weight of the incoming links from other blogs. These links are dynamic, which means that they are backlinks or links found within articles.... [T]he weight of any given link increases according to how recently it was published. We thus hope to provide a classification that is more representative of the current influence levels of the blogs therein.

With our algorithm, the weight of a link from a blog that is more highly ranked is greater than that of a link from a blog that is less well ranked.
In other words, Wikio tries to judge influence, not popularity--and the fact that all the Portland bloggers interlink means we inflate each other's numbers (just as I did in the earlier paragraph--welcome, guys!). So thanks to our inadvertent little cartel, we probably managed to goose our own numbers.

The final caveat, and it's really important: no one reads beer blogs. Okay, maybe we do better than bloggers of plush art, but compared to real traffic, we're just screwing around. Talking Points Memo, the 29th most influential political blog, is ranked as the 1004th most trafficked website in America. Beervana? 428,610. Gizmodo, first on the tech list, is the 149th most popular American website. This is not to denigrate the work of the great bloggers writing about beer--we do rock, and don't let no one tell you different. But there's just not the vast readership for craft beer-related content as there is within certain other categories of interest.


  1. Happy to see the #4 beer blog in America is from this Canadian!

  2. I'd agree with the #1 ranking, pretty rare to find blogs that actually write about beer, and you done gone and wroten good.

  3. Alan, it's a weird list because they have a whole separate thing for British blogs, apparently. In any case, I just couldn't bring myself to claim rights over all of North America. For what it's worth, I usually claim to be Canadian when I go abroad (or did, when we were more hated), so that's something.

    Derek, thanks. Angelo/Margaret, Ezra, Jon, and Bill deserve similar kudos.

  4. Congrats, Jeff! Keep writing!

    (PS maybe you should add a freelancer or two and monetize this thing!)

  5. Hahahahaha.... You're all high fiving over a stupid rating system that's linked through a 3rd world nation??!!! That's just too much! Hey Jeff! Maybe Moammar Kadafi will invite you on a junket to Libya!!!

    Thanks for noting that the 3rd Word nations ranked Doc Wort at #40. At least I'm off their terrorist radar! ;-}

    (Mentally challenged Special ED voice) Yay!! I'm number 40!! ;-}

  6. Congratulations on the number 1! Though, like you, I'm highly skeptical about Wikio's rankings.

    It may be that the Portland/Seattle blogs bubbled to the top of their algorithm because of our tendency to link to each others' posts so much as part of our writing.

    The intense local focus of most of the Portland blogs also makes it a little silly to put us at the top of a national list (though Beervana and The Brew Site are a little broader in scope). Even so, Wikio missed The Beer Here, which is a much-read, much-linked, much-loved Portland beer blog. So, there's something goofy about it.

  7. Andrew, if you know someone who wants to post here (key syllable in your sentence: "free"), send 'em my way. Even better, send advertisers this way!

    Doc, Wikio is a European site (British, maybe) now owned by Yahoo. Fear not. It's Bitly that has the Libya association--the .ly indicates the kingdom of Moamar.

    Bill, I thought about Foyston, and my guess is that, because he's part of Oregonlive, he doesn't get into the system. Has to be--otherwise he'd be listed SOMEwhere on the list.

  8. I'd really like to work my way onto that list. Even though it is called Cleveland Food and Brews, I have a page called Brew Reviews all about reviewing every beer I drink. I have 35 reviews and I plan on adding every single beer I drink from now on! I will also go back in time and review every beer I have ever drank. (Clearly this might take a while!

    Anyways...Keep up the great works Beervana and congrats!!!!

  9. Well done Jeff. Well written, thoughtful, opinionated. It's the only beer blog I'll read.