The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hey, whaddya know, we had a higher ranking than the War College last week.

Here are some rankings from today:

Alexa Traffic Rank (7 day average)

Wikipedia = 6

Huffington Post = 317

Mt. Blogmore = 56,912

Decorum Forum = 812,596

War College = 1,197,830

Sibby = 1,208,280

Well, we're still no Huffington Post, or even Mt. Blogmore. But we're holding our own against PP and Sibby, huh? And we're just getting started. I'll put some other stuff up on this later. The Alexa site is pretty cool, actually.


PP said...

Bill - sorry to burst your bubble, but....

The Alexa measure is based on visitors with the Alexa toolbar or Alexa cookie. Think of Alexa as a rating system much like TV. They are using a small sample of the population and showing you stats.

Alexa can be cheated in many ways. If you have a bunch of moderators or friends that visit your site make sure they have the Alexa toolbar installed. The more people with the Alexa toolbar, the higher your Alexa score.

If one of the blog moderators - yourself, Bob or Mike have the Alexa cookie or toolbar, it can seriously game the ranking.

Me? I aggressively go out of my way to keep that kind of stuff off my computer.

PP said...

And bill, since you're in Graphic arts, and probably a mac user you won't want to hear this -
Alexa Toolbar is Windows-only, so the results may tend to under-report web traffic to sites whose visitors use Macs.

Bill Fleming said...

Well it's better than nothing, Pat.

Seems to be one of the industry standards in fact. Similar to as you say Neilson ratings and Arbitron ratings, which is exactly how I am looking at it. So is Bill O'Reily. There is no perfect rating system.

Be that as it may, I'm not surprised you don't like it. Your numbers are way lower than you make them out to be, all across the board.

Tsk, tsk, Mr. Powers.

You're starting to sound like a media rep.

You should probably try to be a little more truthful with your advertisers, huh?

Bill Fleming said...

Hmm, as far as the Mac thing goers, Pat, that's even better news for us, since our own counter tells me that we have a disproportionally large number of mac users here.

Didn't mean to get your dander up Pat. I'm just looking at some data on the web. Kinda like you do with those phony Argus leader polls.

Talk about skewed data and cookie manipulation!

PP said...

I don't get into the page ranking thing. I'm pretty consistently at the top (or one of the top 3) on the BNN influence index..... and no one knows how they come up with their figures.

The measure I rely the most on is my simple little sitemeter traffic readings, which tell me I get about 1 million page views a year.

Bill Fleming said...

A milllion a year, huh? That seems like a lot. Do you think that's all there is to it? Don't you think it makes a diff how long people stick around? Whether they read your stuff or not? I do.

How does average visit length break down for you?

Bill Fleming said...

Pat, Alexa says over the last 7 days, 80% of your visits consist of a single page turn. What do you think about that?

Bill Fleming said...

Pat, you're not talking about this thing, are you?

BWJunior said...

Not sure how much credence you want to give Alexa as my blog was 492,097 on Alexa which bests both this blog and PP's. Just an aside Pat, Alexa has a Firefox toolbar which is both PC and Mac compatible so Mac users are not left out in the cold when it comes to jobbing Alexa.

PP said...

Bill -

I keep pretty good stats on my site with sitemeter.

As far as Alexa being an industry standard, uh, no. Google analytics tends to be viewed with a bit more reliability.

Getting back to sitemeter, it tells me that I've had 2,831,494 page views since I started tracking (june 05, I think), Average Per Day- 2,120 Average Per Visit- 2.3.

It's not bad, and I'm always looking ot improve. As I've said earlier, in tracking monthlies, it tells me I'm pretty solidly at 1 million page views every year - that's been the trend for the last 2 years.

As far as "BNN" - yes, that's what I'm referring to.

Bill Fleming said...

Is that the SDHumanist blog, BWJunior? If so, yes, that does look like yours is really well read. Cool. Good work!

Bill Fleming said...

Looks to me like BNN thing has blogs on it that aren't even around anymore.

And the data varies wildly depending on which metric you select. Worse than trying to read a Rapid City Arbitron sweep.

So, speaking as a media buyer, PP, do you think blogs are about gross impressions? Do you think ANY medium is about gross impressions for that matter?

Pat Powers said...

Until someone can come up with a reliable independent metric for websites, I think it's going to be Gross impressions.

At least it's something real a web advertising seller (or buyer, for that matter) can point to.

JJ said...

I used to read the War College religously, even though I am a dyed in the wool liberal.

But since the Nov election, it has become increasingly unbalanced and partisan. I rarely read beyond the headlines.

It's too I did think PP did a good job in the past. I miss it.

Bill Fleming said...

I'm thinking not, actually, Pat. I don't think GI's are very helpful when you're trying to target discreet audiences (which if you're not, you should re-think why you're even advertising at all.)

Undecided voters, for example against specific lifestyle, income and value indicators, or even just SD females 35+. Or young mothers with kids. Young smokers...etc.

Advertisers in general will pay a lot more for a well placed rifle shot than a wild shotgun blast from too far away. I think that's as true on the web as it is in any other medium, don't you?

I'll be looking for maximum reach and frequency within a specific demo. If anything, the internet and new media should give us far BETTER data on this stuff than traditional media can rather than far worse.

I just have to learn to read the data that's there.

And I'm tellin' ya, it ain't gonna be about gross impressions. That's the best way I know of to waste my clients' money.

Bill Fleming said...

Given all that, PP, do you know who your readers are?
I do. Because I hang out with them all the time. I know exactly when I would, and when I wouldn't recommend an ad on your site and why.

Or even if an ad is the best way to go.

There's just a whole lot that can be done on your site for free. Paying for it might actually send the wrong message, if you catch my drift.

PP said...

JJ -

Sorry, but I haven't changed how I write one iota since the election, since it's openly a website written by a Republican activist.

Maybe you're more sensitive to the criticism since the November election?

PP said...

So Bill, you're saying that spamming my website might be more effective?

Remind me to track IP's a little closer for blocking apammers.

BWJunior said...

Is that the SDHumanist blog, BWJunior? If so, yes, that does look like yours is really well read. Cool. Good work!

Yes Bill that is the blog I was referring to (thanks for the nice comments) but only to show how wrong Alexa is. While my Alexa ranking might be higher than your's and PP's my traffic is nothing compared either I am sure.

The only way to accurately determine a site's traffic (and advertising value) is to have them open up their logs. The only real way at the moment to settle a my site is better than your site argument is to sit down with the logs from the sites in question and compare.

Bill Fleming said...

Well, PP, by your reasoning, spamming would actually be GOOD for your site — ad buy wise —because it would drive your gross impressions (page view count) up, right?

BWJunior, yes comparing info would be a good way to do it. I can already tell that Alexa's not drawing a very good bead on us just by looking at the data from our own little (free) StatCounter.

Bill Fleming said...

By the way, good conversation guys. Thanks for it!